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C. Milton Wright boys soccer gets past Hereford, 1-0, to make return trip to 3A state title game

LINGANORE — After graduating the program’s most prolific senior class, the two-time defending Class 3A champion C. Milton Wright boys soccer team had to find its own identity.

Coach Brian Tully said it was a matter of finding the right formation and each player getting comfortable in more important roles.

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Mostly, he said, it was about them believing in themselves.

After a 2-3-1 start, the No. 8 Mustangs found their form, and it was apparent in Saturday’s Class 3A state semifinal game against No. 6 Hereford.

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Junior midfielder Garrett Tenckhoff took a feed from Evan Galant and scored from 16 yards with 18 minutes to play for a 1-0 win over the Bulls to make a return trip to the state title game.

The Mustangs (15-3-1) will meet No. 9 Wilde Lake — a 2-1 winner over No. 11 Mount Hebron in the other semifinal game — for the state championship next week at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Center. A date and time has yet to be scheduled with all the boys and girls championship games set for Thursday through Saturday.

“It was amazing I was in the middle of the box, and to be honest, all I thought about was FIFA. The commentator always says to just sit in the middle of the box, quality strikers do that and they get goals. So that’s what I did and the ball cam to me and I scored,” Tenckhoff said. “It’s awesome right now — I have no words really.”

After a scoreless first half, the game opened up in the second with both teams having good scoring opportunities before Tenkhoff’s goal.

With 33 minutes to play, Nick Dunstan-Maiese had a chance in close for the Mustangs that goalie Logan Sinsebox turned away.

Moments later, Hereford’s Nate Gernard sent a dangerous ball to the middle that C. Milton Wright goalie Zach Hetrick went high to grab over Logan Kaufmann.

After Tenkhoff’s goal, the Mustangs had 22 minutes to protect the advantage and did so with poise as the Bulls weren’t able to get a significant shot the rest of the way.

For a second straight year, the Bulls, who finished 14-4, saw their season end in the state semifinal round.

Outside of the goalie position, where Sinsebox had to fill in for injured senior Evan Barnard, the Mustangs had all seniors in Saturday’s starting lineup in their return trip to the state tournament. After falling to rival Towson, 2-1, in overtime for the Baltimore County championship on Oct. 21, they avenged the loss four days later with a 1-0 victory to highlight their run through the North region.

“The senior class has been fantastic,” Hereford coach Adam Mizell said. “They’re a tight-knit group even off the field. They generally love to be around each other, I’ve got to curtail some of that in training because it becomes a little bit of recess but they like hanging out with each other and it’s fun for them. “

Goals: CMW — Tenchoff Assists: CMW — Galant Saves: H — Sinsebox 2 ; CMW — Hetrick 2 Half: 0-0

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