Members of the SA Columbia Magic have bitter memories of losing in last year's Maryland Cup under-18 girls final. It was, however, a player who was not there who was instrumental in the Magic gaining its third state championship in four years.
Striker Amanda Berman, a new recruit, provided two goals and an assist for the Magic, which recorded a dominating, 3-0 victory over Maryland United yesterday for the girls under-19 crown in the extreme heat at Schooley Mill Park near Columbia.
The SC Baltimore Stars won two games yesterday to advance to today's under-19 boys final against the Fort Washington Jaguars at Olney Soccer Club's Route 108 field at 11 a.m.
Only two teams were entered in the girls U-19 division, making it a one-game bracket. This weekend's Cup winners advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I tournament July 1-5 in Providence, R.I. A championship there would mean advancement to the national tourney July 23-30 in Orlando, Fla.
The Magic, which took the under-17 title in 1997 and U-18 crown in '98, squandered a half-dozen prime opportunities from inside 18 yards in the first 45 minutes, but managed to take a 1-0 lead into intermission.
In the 23rd minute, Amy Cooper sent a cross in front of the goal to Berman, who knocked it home.
"I collected it in the middle of the box," said Berman, a Wilde Lake alumnus who attends Wofford College. "Just took it down and passed it over to my left foot, cranked it from 10 yards, maybe. There's always a chance you can miss it. We missed balls that were six yards away from the goal. But I just concentrated and put it away."
In the 48th minute, Berman sent a cross into the penalty area that Becky Beineman flicked on to Theresa Sherry, who placed her 6-yard header into the left corner for a 2-0 advantage.
In the 57th minute, Berman headed in a cross from Melissa Mueller to make it 3-0.
United, from western Howard County, never had a dangerous attempt on goal, stifled by a defense led by sweeper Kelly Schneider and right back Kelly Jordan.
In the five-team, boys U-19 group, a blind draw determined the two clubs that had to play the only quarterfinal. The Baltimore Stars had the misfortune of playing an early morning match, but won, 5-0, behind three goals by George Wakefield and two by Steve Adams.
Four hours after the completion of that match, the Stars were back at work, using goals by Wakefield, Randy Tolson and Justin Januszkiewicz to defeat the Bethesda Alliance, 3-0.