State soccer finals

High School

November 16, 2001

State soccer finals

(At UMBC)

Class 3A girls

No. 3 River Hill (12-2-3) vs. Franklin (11-6-1)

When: Today, 5 p.m.

Outlook: River Hill, after a few midseason hiccups, appears to have regained the swagger and form that helped it win the last two Class 3A state titles. Making its first state final appearance, Franklin comes in as the underdog, which may make the Indians even more dangerous. Franklin's Martha Mitchell, Brandi Sproul and Ashley Harris have shown the ability to score early and often - the trio have combined for 39 goals and 20 assists this fall. With only one senior, River Hill may be young but is extremely talented. Junior Jamie Goertler scored the game-winner in last year's 1-0 title win over Bel Air and has been hot of late, scoring in the Hawks' last two wins over Mount Hebron and Urbana. Junior defender Megan Buescher and senior Ashley Hooper are threats, as well. Franklin goalie Aly Joseph made 20 saves in the Indians' 3-0 semifinal win over Leonardtown.

- Kevin Van Valkenburg

Class 3A boys

No. 6 Severna Park (12-5-1) vs. No. 3 Dulaney (14-4-1)

When: Tonight, 7:30

Outlook: Severna Park coach Don Gregg says there are a lot of similarities between the two teams as he seeks his first outright state championship. Gregg is 0-7-1 (1983 co-champs with Bowie) in state finals in 28 seasons. This is the Lions' second final in three years. Coached by Steve Shaw, Dulaney shared the 1999 Class 4A title with Winston Churchill, the Montgomery County team that defeated Severna Park in the semis that year. Each team has a good goalkeeper, senior Nick Warner for Dulaney, and junior Scott McGuire at Severna Park. Three-year starter J. P. Murphy is the Falcons' go-to guy, but his twin, defender Sheehan Murphy, scored the game-winner in a 4-3 overtime victory over Paint Branch in the state semis. Junior forward James Russo, who had a goal and an assist in the Lions' 3-0 state semifinal win over Northern-Calvert, is the Lions' go-to guy. Severna Park has a five-game winning streak, Dulaney a four-game streak.

- Pat O'Malley

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