Brunswick ended four years of playoff frustration by beating Havre de Grace, 4-1, to win the state Class 1A boys soccer championship yesterday at Old Mill High School.
Randy Martin and Pat Darling scored two goals each to lead the Railroaders (13-2-1) to their first state title. The Frederick County team had made the regional playoffs each of the past three years but lost in the first round each time.
There's nothing like it," said Martin, a senior. "We've tried so many times and never been able to do it. It's a great feeling just to get here, but it feels even better to finally win it."
The Railroaders' defense gave Havre de Grace (9-6-1) few chances, especially in the first half. Brunswick's defense swarmed all over Warriors forwards Andy Deibel, Randy Wheeler and Jim Ervine.
Strong efforts from Brunswick backs Jason Partyka and Kevin Conley and midfielders Jack Bentley and Chris Doyle limited the Warriors to four shots in the first half.
"They double-teamed us every time," said Deibel. "We tried to redirect the ball, but it didn't work too well."
Although the Railroaders dominated early, they had only a 1-0 lead by halftime. Doyle (three assists) fed Darling for a shot that hit the pipe, caromed straight down and bounced into the net.
Havre de Grace goalkeeper Jon Hanna kept the game close with eight saves in the half.
The Warriors, who also made their first appearance in the state championship game, quickly tied the game in the second half. Ervine tipped in a header by Jason Barnard with 35 minutes, 28 seconds left.
Although the Warriors outshot Brunswick; 7-5, in the half, they never had control for long.
Brunswick took the lead back three minutes after Havre de Grace had tied the game. Martin scored the go-ahead goal and another. Doyle set up Darling for the final goal with four minutes left.