Fans of girls soccer will be treated to a playoff doubleheader today at Howard High School.
In the first game starting at 5 p.m., Oakland Mills (5-6-2) plays 13th-ranked Wilde Lake (9-3-1) in a 1A-2A South Regional semifinal game. At 7 p.m., No. 6 Centennial (10-3-1) meets Howard (9-4) in a 3A-4A West semifinal game.
In the playoff format, Wilde Lake and Centennial should be playing on their home fields. But because each school's boys soccer team already had scheduled to play host to a game today, the girls had to make alternative plans.
Centennial co-coach Dave Greenberg, whose team beat Howard, 2-0, at Centennial on Oct. 6, said his team "liked the idea of playing under the lights."
L Will it be an advantage for Howard playing on its own field?
"I don't think it's a big deal," said Greenberg. "Most of the kids have played on that field before. Whatever happens, happens. We're not going to use the field as an excuse."
Oakland Mills, which has scored 17 goals and allowed none in its two playoff wins, lost at Wilde Lake, 1-0, on Oct. 6.
Hammond, which entered the playoffs 2-10 but has won two straight, plays host to Northeast-AA today at 3 p.m. in a 1A-2A South Regional semifinal game.
Boehm chooses Virginia
Megan Boehm, a senior at Howard High and a soccer goalie in the under-20 national pool, has verbally commited to attend the University of Virginia on a full scholarship. She chose Virginia over Kansas.
"I really didn't start feeling the pressure until the last two weeks," said Boehm, who doesn't play for her high school team but is a member of the Columbia Spirit, a travel team.
"I've been staying up late weighing the pros and cons and UVA kept coming out on top. It just felt better."
Virginia, No. 11 in the country, has a sophomore goalie, Brit Swenberg, but Boehm hopes to get playing time next fall.
"I don't expect anything," Boehm said. "I'll just go and work as hard as I can to earn a position."
Williams misses games
Glenelg's girls soccer coach Mike Williams was unable to attend his team's last regular-season game against Centennial or its playoff game against Hammond due to a death in his family.
Williams' 16-year-old nephew died in Memphis, Tenn., and Williams left Monday, Oct. 23 and returned five days later, missing both games. Assistant coach Dean Sheridan took over.
Williams said he usually takes his players out to dinner before the final regular-season game and gives them a flower, two things he was unable to do.
"I felt badly, after the way the season had gone, that I couldn't be there for those last two games," said Williams, whose team lost both games and finished 2-8-2.
"This team, despite its record, was in every game. They worked as hard as any team I've coached."
Williams said his team allowed a school-record low of 17 goals, but that the Gladiators scored only 11.
"Dean told me the Hammond game [2-1 shootout loss] epitomized the season," Williams said.
"We dominated the game but couldn't put the ball in the net. This was a very competitive team. I feel for them."