Flawless River Hill wins third straight state championship

No. 1 Hawks dominate No. 7 Fallston, 8-0

Class 3A boys soccer

November 20, 1999|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Some nights everything clicks.

The top-ranked River Hill boys soccer team had one of those nights in the state Class 3A championship game at UMBC last night.

The Hawks (18-1) scored on their first five shots and went on to an 8-0 victory over No. 7-ranked Fallston (14-2-1). It was the third straight state championship for the 4-year-old school and the 10th state title for coach Bill Stara.

"We knew Coach had never won three straight state titles before so we really wanted this one for him," said Adom Crew, a two-time All-Met striker who ended his outstanding career by scoring the first and third goal in yesterday's game.

He finished the season with 16 goals and 17 assists.

Crew was one of seven freshmen who started for River Hill all four years and lost in the state finals their freshmen season. The others were Brett Endler, Todd Tedrow, Clif Jackson, Aaron Pierce, Elliott Marquis and Mike Dibella.

"This is the greatest feeling ever to win three state titles and is something that nobody can ever take away from you," said Endler, who scored off a corner kick in the 34th minute and assisted on Crew's first goal. "The artificial turf helped us because we like short, quick passes and we also like the wide field."

River Hill ended Fallston's 14-game winning streak with an overpowering passing game that the Cougars could not stop.

"We tried to make an adjustment by playing just two up top instead of our normal three, hoping to stop their offense, but it wasn't enough," Fallston coach Len Petry said. "We slowed Crew down but couldn't stop him. We just didn't play well and we lost our composure."

River Hill needed to contain Fallston's Jason Ruzek, who set a school record with 20 goals this season.

"Kyle O'Brien shut Ruzek down," Endler said.

Stara put in his second team after the score reached 3-0 in the 22nd minute. But the starters came back for the second half.

"It was their last game so I let the seniors run the string until there were 15 minutes left, said Stara. "It's quite an accomplishment for these kids to get to the state finals all four years."

Junior Josh Price joined Crew with two goals. Justin Gotis, Scott Buescher and DeForest McDuff and Endler scored River Hill's other goals.

River Hill goalkeeper Mike Dibella recorded his 13th shutout as Fallston was blanked for just the third time all season.

"This was our best game of the year," Crew said. "We knew we had an advantage up top and were able to possess the ball and just overpower them. We knew Fallston was a pretty good team. This is what all that extra running we did last summer was all about. It paid off tonight."

High-flying Hawks

The River Hill boys soccer team has advanced to the state finals every year since the school opened in 1996, winning three state titles:

Year Class Opponent Score

1996 1A Williamsport L, 2-1

Final record: 14-4

1997 2A Easton W, 5-1

Final record: 16-1

1998 2A Patapsco W, 4-1

Final record: 19-1

1999 3A Fallston W, 8-0

Final record: 18-1

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