State soccer finals

November 19, 1999

Class 3A girls

No. 3 River Hill (17-1) vs. No. 10 Eastern Tech (14-2)

When, where: 5 tonight, UMBC Stadium

Outlook: Eastern Tech will be a decided underdog, but that role doesn't faze the young Mavericks. They have scored three straight upsets in the playoffs -- knocking off Bel Air, Franklin and Leonardtown en route to their first regional title. On a team that has a different hero almost every game, junior D Jaime Stimmel scored late in the second half to secure the 1-0 semifinal victory over Leonardtown. Junior F Valerie Cushing (14 goals, six assists), freshman F Stephanie Gutkowski (11, five) and sophomore M Laura Shearer (10, five) lead that attack. Sophomore GK Shannon Markel has allowed just 15 goals and has recorded seven shutouts. River Hill has everything a championship team needs -- skill, speed, teamwork and leadership. The Hawks, who shared the 2A-3A state title two years ago with South River, are led offensively by M Shannon Jackson (nine, 11) and forward Rashida Walcott (seven, one), who scored twice in a 3-0 state semifinal victory over Thomas Johnson. Much of River Hill's offense is generated by S Natalie Klisas (six, 12), who also directs a defense that has produced 11 shutouts. Freshman D Megan Buescher has five assists, all from her long throw-ins. -- Stan Rappaport

Class 3A boys

No. 1 River Hill (17-1) vs. No. 7 Fallston (14-2-1)

When, where: 7: 30 tonight, UMBC Stadium

Outlook: Fallston coach Len Petrey and his Cougars come off a 3-2, state semifinal victory over a Thomas Stone of Charles County squad that entered the game at 14-2. They face two-time state champ, River Hill, which has earned its fourth straight state title-game berth in as many years of existence. River Hill is led by two-time All-Metro F Adom Crew (14 goals, 17 assists), M Todd Tedrow (10, six) and All-Metro D Elliott Marquis. The Cougars are in their sixth state title game, having won the crown in 1992. M Kevin Ruzek (eight goals, 11 assists) scored twice with an assist against Thomas Stone. F Jason Ruzek (20, nine), M Jason Wright (eight, 10) and D-M Mickey Sloman add depth. Ds Steve Kuligowski, Mike Tress and T. J. Frendak have allowed 10 goals in the past 14 games in front of GK Jay Walker (eight shutouts). -- Lem Satterfield

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