After the River Hill girls soccer team graduated a number of standouts from last year's 20-0 state championship squad, it would have been understandable if expectations were lowered for this year's team.
The No. 2 Hawks never thought that way.
With 7:53 left in the second overtime, senior forward Erica Suter scored her 19th goal of the season to give River Hill a 2-1 win over No. 10 Eastern Tech last night at Broadneck for the Class 2A state championship. The goal came off a corner kick from junior midfielder Brittany Yancey.
River Hill finished 18-1-1 and won the program's fifth state title.
"Going into the season, whether it was the county or the state, I think everybody took us down a little bit - a notch - because we lost some great players," River Hill coach Brian Song said.
"But I kept the same standards, and the kids kept the same standards, in that this is River Hill soccer and just because we lost some key players, that doesn't mean the standard goes down. I give credit to my 20 kids."
Eastern Tech, a state titlist in 2005, finished 13-3-1.
The Hawks used a familiar offensive source to take a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, when Yancey scored from in front off a long throw by junior defender Amy Song.
It was Song's 13th assist of the season, and her 12th coming off a long throw.
River Hill protected the lead for the majority of the second half with steady pressure. But, the Mavericks finally broke through when Brittany Rhodes found the lower right corner with a 15-yard shot to tie the game with 15:49 to play. A long throw from Carly Ordak set up the goal.
In overtime, Eastern Tech had a chance to win when Amber Womack sent a ball across from the right side that Rhodes one-timed but sent over the goal.
No. 15 Glenelg 2, Sparrows Point 0 --With about three minutes left in the first half of the Class 1A final between Glenelg and Sparrows Point, Glenelg goalie Kerry Krammer attacked a shot and was inadvertently kicked in the head.
An ambulance was called, but before Kramer was driven to the Anne Arundel Medical Center, she had an important message for her teammates.
"All she kept saying was, `Guys, please just win this for me, win this for me,' " forward Emily Horwath said. "She didn't know where she was, but she still wanted to win this. That definitely pushed us."
The Gladiators (12-6-1) took the message to heart, getting the victory at Broadneck. It was their second straight state title.
Kramer suffered a concussion and was released from the medical center last night.
Glenelg attacked for most of the first half but couldn't find the back of the net, and the teams went into halftime tied 0-0.
After a 20-minute delay in the second half to take Kramer to the hospital, Glenelg got on the board when Torie Kirshe flicked a pass in the penalty box to Horwath, who blasted a shot from the right side to the left corner of the net.
The Pointers (14-5) didn't quit and kept attacking, giving Glenelg's defense all it could handle. Gladiators forward Alayna Markwordt fielded a pass from Horwath and scored with just 30 seconds left in the game.
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