Komar, Westminster take 4A girls prize

Dulaney, Churchill boys draw share of 4A title

State soccer finals

November 19, 1999|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Sixth-ranked Westminter followed the lead of senior midfielder Mandy Komar (one goal, two assists) in defeating ninth-ranked Parkville, 3-1, in the Class 4A state championship game last night at UMBC in Catonsville.

The victory propelled Westminster (14-2-1) to its first state soccer crown in school history -- which did not escape the notice of Amy Vagnoni.

"This is so great," said the senior forward. "We've been wanting this ever since our freshman year. This is heaven."

Owls senior goalkeeper Amy Ridgely, who made eight saves, noted that the school celebrated its 100th anniversary last September.

"For us to win, it's a big deal," she said. "It meant a lot to us to win it now."

Westminster hadn't made it to the state semifinals since 1996 -- one year before coach Bryan Shumaker took the reins.

In just his third year as head coach, Shumaker has led his squads to a record of 27-19-1.

"If I could put it in a bottle, it'd be easy," he said when asked about his formula for success. "We laid a lot of the foundation last year. We put a work ethic in and kept the desire, the teamwork and the dedication."

The equation was put to the test last night as the Owls faced Parkville, which had advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history.

Both teams applied moderate pressure early, but couldn't break through. But with 18: 42 gone in the first half, Komar's direct kick from about 20 yards away deflected off a wall of Knight players and skipped to senior forward Rachel Lindsay.

Lindsay buried a shot past Parkville sophomore goalie Heather Rock for the lead.

Less than 10 minutes later, Komar tucked a shot from about 30 yards away into the top left corner to widen the Westminster gap to 2-0.

The Knights outshot the Owls, 7-5, in the second half, but Westminster made it 3-0 with 16: 15 left in the game on a well-planned corner kick by Komar and sophomore midfielder Tirza Ridgely.

Dulaney boys 1, Churchill 1: Dulaney and Winston Churchill went through 80 minutes of regulation, and twenty minutes of sudden-death overtime last night before 3,000 at UMBC Stadium.

By the end of the Class 4A state championship game, however, their was still one question remaining.

Who took home the big trophy?

With a 1-1 tie, the teams become the 14th co-champions in the tournament's 29-year history. They were the first co-titlists in Class 4A since Arundel and Bowie shared the crown in 1987.

For a Dulaney team that began the season unranked, getting a share of the state title

was reason for celebration.

"We came into this season a really young team, and a lot of people didn't think we'd do this," said Dulaney coach Stephen Shaw. "But not this team. Our players have always believed in themselves."

It was Dulaney's first piece of a state championship after losing in the finals in 1974 and 1994.

For the Bulldogs (14-2-2), whose season included a 5-0 win over Calvert Hall, a 2-1 win over No. 3 Archbishop Curley and last week's 2-1 semifinal win over Severna Park, the tie was somewhat less endearing.

"I don't like it," said Churchill coach David Kelley, whose team lost last year's final to Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County. "They have to end the game somehow, but co-champions is kind of a strange feeling."

The Bulldogs picked up a piece of their fourth state title in the past eight years, and sixth since 1980.

Churchill dominated early, taking the first three shots before fullback Bryson Keenan scored following a scramble in front of the net with 30: 05 left in the first half.

Dulaney (15-1-1), however, regrouped and had several scoring opportunities.

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