For his three saves in a penalty kick shootout, Pasadena Top Guns goalkeeper Matt Wright was named the under-15 boys most valuable player of the Maryland Cup soccer championships.
If it weren't for Wright's big stop late in regulation, however, the Top Guns might not have been able to force the 30 minutes of scoreless overtime that preceded the penalty-kicks tiebreaker at Carroll Community College.
Brian Wright (no relation to the goalie) clinched the title, finding the lower left net to give the Guns a 3-2 triumph in kicks over the S.C. Baltimore Stars after a 1-1 draw.
Pasadena advances to the U.S. Region I championships July 1-4 in Niagara Falls, N.Y., as will all boys and girls state champs in under-12 to under-20 age groups. It was the fifth straight year these two teams met in a Maryland Cup final, with the Guns also winning in 1991 and '93. The Stars, champs in 1990, beat Pasadena in 1992 and a year ago in overtime.
With Baltimore leading 1-0 with 16 minutes left, Stars striker Brian Powell, who scored the game's only goal to that point, broke free in on Matt Wright. Wright slid out almost to the top of the penalty area to block Powell's chance to ice the match.
Tyler Hagen and Santino Quaranta scored after intermission to propel the under-11 S.C. Baltimore Bays to a 2-0 win over the Columbia Cobras for their second consecutive Cup.
The Cup continues with a full day of matches beginning at 9 a.m.
Boys: U-15 -- Pasadena Top Guns 1, S.C. Baltimore Stars 1 (Pasadena win, 3-2, in penalty kicks.); U-14 Baltimore F.C. '81 1, Severna Park Sting 0; U-11 -- S.C. Baltimore Bays 2, Columbia Cobras 0; U-10 -- Baltimore F.C. '85 3, F.C. Baltimore Young Guns 2 (OT).
Girls: U-15 -- Columbia S.C. Majestic 1, S.A. Columbia Magic 0; U-14 -- Bethesda Broncos 4, Parkville Panthers 1; U-13 -- Bethesda Scorpions 4, Severna Park Hurricanes 0; U-11 -- Bethesda Fury 1,
Columbia Dynamo 0.