Commentary: Some say sports are 'crude'

At the end of Saturday night's Class 2A girls soccer state championship game, Fallston coach Mark Hannahs made some post-game comments to a group of us news persons, which is the norm when teams reach this level.

In talking about the game and how it ended, Hannahs summarized the statement, saying "Soccer is a crude sport." He couldn't have been more honest. In fact, sports in general are crude and recently a few of our county teams have found that out first-hand.

Firstly, the reason for Hannahs' comment came as a result of his own team's 1-0 loss at the hands, I mean feet, of Middletown. The Cougars matched the Knights kick for kick for almost the entire game Saturday night at UMBC. That is until crude snuck its way into the game with just 23 seconds left on the clock. Yes, folks, 23 seconds, less than half a minute.

I, like most, figured the game was well on its way to overtime and probably penalty kicks, but that might have been just as crude, but we will never know.

The Cougars were on the upside of crude in getting to the 2A state final. If you recall, Fallston edged Calvert, 1-0, in a semifinal where the game-winning goal by Fallston's Logan Gasior was scored with three seconds left in regulation. Can it get more crude than that?

Well, just maybe.

Two nights before Fallston suffered its late-game fate, the C. Milton Wright girls took their shot in the 3A title game against River Hill. The Mustangs experienced crude in a number of ways that night and it started before the game.

We all know that injuries are part of the game, but before the game? That's crude.

That's exactly what happened to CMW senior captain Kelsey Targarona, who went down with a quad injury just minutes before the start of the game. Targarona, who did a valiant job in the state semifinal after fellow senior captain Abby Smucker went down with an injury, never played a minute in what should have been her last game for CMW. Crude? I'd say so.

With Targarona's injury, the Mustangs were strapped with lineup shuffling, which became even more problematic when junior forward Alyssa Austen left the game with a kneecap injury just a handful of minutes into the game.

No one ever said sports are fair, but unfair and down right crude are two different things.

Our teams that played deep into the tournaments this year were met with unfortunate matchups in each quest to win a state title. I don't think I'd call that crude, but more so just unfortunate.

Fallston was faced with a Middletown team that was seeking its third straight state crown. Tough to beat that experience, especially with a young team the Cougars have.

Turning to girls volleyball, Bel Air made its trip back to state semifinals last Wednesday for the first time since 1999. The Bobcats reward? A 3A semifinal match with North Hagerstown, which was defending its 2011 title. The Hubs took care of the Bobcats and then won their second consecutive title Friday.

Volleyballers from Perryville also made the trip to College Park, only to see the Smithsburg Leopards on the other side of the net. Last year's 1A title match lasted 50 minutes. I truly believe Friday's rematch was done in 44 minutes, although the stat sheet read 1:10.

The win was Smithsburg's fourth straight title.

With the fall sports season for Harford County finished, let's get ready for the winter season and hope for better endings. First, however, enjoy the three F's of Thanksgiving; football, food and family. Happy Thanksgiving.

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