One loose end left for C.M. Wright

Having vowed to atone for last year's semifinal loss, Mustangs are one win from state crown in girls soccer



C. Milton Wright said it had unfinished business after losing in last year's Class 3A state girls soccer semifinals. The Mustangs now are one step closer to finishing that business.

Despite moving up to Class 4A this season, No. 3 C. Milton Wright has played strongly all year and advanced to this week's state championship game with a shootout victory over Eleanor Roosevelt in Saturday's state semifinal.

This will be just the second time in school history that C. Milton Wright has made the state final. The Mustangs got there in 1989 and lost.

The Mustangs are scheduled to meet defending champion Whitman at 5 p.m. Friday at UMBC. Whitman captured the title in overtime last year.

Coach Paul Austin said he felt good when the scoreless game with Roosevelt - played at Churchill - went into the shootout.

"I had confidence," he said. "We practice that scenario a lot in practice."

Greta Houlihan and Chelsie Genco scored on penalty kicks and it was tied at 2 after four rounds of the shootout. That's when Erin Rawlick put a shot into the left corner for a 3-2 edge, and four-year starter Katie Kolb made a save on the Roosevelt kick to lock up the state title berth.

Kolb has been solid for the Mustangs throughout her varsity career and was ready for the shootout. She finished with a total of 19 saves.

"I had confidence in Katie. She's just a great keeper," Austin said.

The Mustangs have made Austin sweat recently in the playoffs. They won the regional title when Kendra Arsenault scored with about two minutes left for a 3-2 victory over Sherwood. After that came the shootout victory.

Austin is hoping for another strong defensive effort against Whitman. He said tough defense will be the key in that game if C. Milton Wright can stay close and have a shot to win.

"We [need] solid defense in the back," Austin said. "We've bent a little, but we haven't broken."

No big deal

North Harford's surprising 46-7 loss to Edgewood last Friday in the regular-season football finale for both was costly on paper. It cost the Hawks the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference division title and the chance to host a home playoff game.

But coach Ken Brinkman wasn't terribly upset.

"It's probably the best mood I've ever been in after getting waxed like that," Brinkman said.

The Hawks finished 8-2 overall and had pretty much locked up a Class 3A East regional playoff spot before the game. But the loss will force North Harford to head to Severna Park Saturday at 1 p.m. A win would have kept the Hawks in the third seed and at home, but they dropped to fourth and will hit the road.

But what Brinkman really wants is for his team to snap out of whatever caused it to play poorly last week.

"Hopefully this is the reality check that our kids needed for the playoffs," Brinkman said.

The win let Edgewood finish the season with seven straight victories, a 7-3 record and the UCBAC title with a 6-0 mark there. But the Rams came up just a few points behind North Harford in the battle for the final playoff spot.

Brinkman said his team is excited, as North Harford hasn't made the state playoffs in 32 years. It would have liked to play at home, but the Hawks are happy just getting into the playoffs.

Coming close

The Harford Tech boys soccer team and the C. Milton Wright field hockey team both found themselves in a tough position last week.

Harford Tech made its first appearance in the state final four but dropped a 4-1 decision to host Rising Sun. Chuck Osborne got the team's only goal. The loss ended the Cobras' four-game unbeaten streak as they finished the season with a 10-6-1 record.

They also have a 22-9-2 mark over the past two years. Harford Tech will lose only three seniors from this team, and coach Andy Bleichfeld remains optimistic.

"Every year we've gotten a step further," Bleichfeld said. "We're shooting for the state championship next year."

C. Milton Wright made the state final four for the first time. The Mustangs then suffered a 1-0 loss to Springbrook in the Class 4A state semifinal.

A second-half goal was enough to help the Montgomery County school advance to the state title game, but the Mustangs played well in their first appearance in the final four.

On the run

John Carroll made some noise at last Saturday's Maryland-D.C. Private School cross country championship meet.

Brittany Furst won the large school division with a time of 19 minutes, 40 seconds on the Glenelg Country School course in Howard County. Teammate Erika Stasakova finished third, 20 seconds behind her.

This duo was a big reason that the Patriots finished in third place in the team competition with 96 points.

At the state meet, C. Milton Wright's girls took third place overall. Sara Bailey led the way with a ninth-place finish in the Class 4A race. The Mustangs boys also fared well, finishing 11th.

The Bel Air girls ended up fourth in the Class 3A race while the Bobcats boys were fifth, ahead of county rival Fallston. The Cougars finished eighth.

Numbers game

2 -- Goals Fallston's field hockey team had waved off in the first half of its Class 3A state semifinal against Northern-Calvert last week. The Cougars pulled out a 1-0 victory to earn a shot at the state title.

233 -- Points scored by Edgewood in winning its last seven football games.

1973 -- The last time North Harford made the state football playoffs before this season.

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