Lutheran's winning the MSA B Conference soccer championship at Essex Community College yesterday was mildly surprising.
Consider: The Saints had not won a soccer title since 1975 and had finished second to Southern in Division II of the MSA B Conference this season. And they came into the season without an experienced goalkeeper.
Despite those odds, Lutheran slipped by Southern yesterday, 3-2, and senior keeper Kevin Karwacki deserved as much credit as anyone.
Karwacki, who had seven saves yesterday, had played stopper back for three seasons before coach Paul Doerr asked him to shift into the goal this fall.
"Kevin sacrificed himself for the team and did a good job all year," said Doerr.
Indeed, Karwacki ended the season with three straight shutouts before allowing two David Gurry goals yesterday on the slippery turf, but his shift in positions brought out the best in veteran sweeper Tom McLemore and wing backs David Adams and Matt Kunkel.
"It [not having Karwacki at stopper] was definitely a big adjustment for us," said McLemore, who repeatedly thwarted Southern with strong clears.
Gurry did get away once on a rapid counterattack to put Southern ahead, but Lutheran's Doug Fisher tied it in the first half. After the intermission, Lutheran's Jeremy Trimble broke free for two goals to seal the victory.
"We wanted to take the ball more to the corners and bring it back into the middle," said Doerr. "We finally did that in the second half and Jeremy was there to do his job."
The A Conference championship, pitting Mount St. Joe against Calvert Hall, was postponed and reset for today.
Highlights from Saturday's state cross country championships at Western Maryland College:
* Dulaney's Amanda White set her 10th course record in 10 outings this season, winning the Class 4A girls race in 17:25.
* The Glenelg boys won the Class 2A team title behind brothers Gerard (15:54) and Edward (16:15) Hogan, who finished one-two. The Gladiators' Joe Rankin (16:58) placed 10th.
* Led by Jim Holford (16:20), Westminster won the Class 4A boys team title. He placed fifth overall.
* Joppatowne's boys won the Class 1A team title as Todd Eckley (17:22) paced the Mariners with a fourth-place finish. F.S. Key's Jim Clarius (16:31) won that race, upsetting Milford Mill's Mike Mamo (16:39).
Highlights from Saturday's state field hockey championships at Goucher College:
* South Carroll's Patty Duffy was the only player all season to score a goal against Bethesda-Chevy Chase. She got it early in the second half and the Cavaliers (15-1) made it stand up and won the Class 3A championship.
* Westminster's Nicole Batten needed only 24 seconds to score a goal against top-seeded Severna Park (15-1) and that was enough for the Owls (15-1) to win the Class 4A title. It was their seventh 1-0 victory of the season.
Highlights from the state soccer semifinals:
* Wilde Lake (12-2-1) scored a 2-1 overtime shootout victory over Fallston (12-3) to advance to the state boys Class 1A finals against Clear Spring. The Wildecats had a 7-5 penalty-kick advantage.
* Centennial (13-0-2) got three goals in the first half and breezed by Franklin, 4-0, to advance to the Class 3A finals against Thomas Stone.
* Dulaney edged Chesapeake-AA, 1-0, on a goal by Frances Forcelese to advance to the girls state Class 3A-4A finals against Centennial, a 4-0 winner over Old Mill. Hammond will meet Wilde Lake for the 1A-2A title.