Hawks earn 7th state title

girls soccer 2a final

Seyoum scores two goals in 2nd half, makes the clinching penalty kick

November 16, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,glenn.graham@baltsun.com

When River Hill senior forward Semret Seyoum was asked what she would remember most about the day the Hawks' girls soccer team captured its third straight state championship - this one decided on penalty kicks to defeat Eastern Tech for the second straight time in the Class 2A final yesterday at UMBC Stadium - she had too many choices.

Seyoum twice tied the score with second-half goals, her second coming with 54 seconds left in regulation - and she fittingly provided the final touch, finding the lower left corner to give the No. 5 Hawks a clinching 4-2 advantage in penalty kicks after the two teams finished tied at 3 after two overtimes.

"I really can't pick one moment because the whole game was so emotional. Finishing it off at the end of the game, that was amazing. Just knowing we were state champs again," said Seyoum, who finished the season with 12 goals.

River Hill completed the season 16-1-1, winning its seventh state title in as many tries. The Hawks shared their first championship with South River in 1997 on penalty kicks.

The No. 4 Mavericks, primed for a return visit after losing to the Hawks, 2-1, in double overtime last year, ended their season with a 14-2-1 mark.

Eastern Tech senior forward Amber Womack had a standout performance. She scored twice in the first half to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead and then put them ahead 3-2 on a strong run and finish down the left side with 26 minutes left in the second half.

But the Hawks, who got a goal from Alex Vega in the last minute of the first half and Seyoum's first goal in the opening minute of the second half to tie, proved plenty resilient when finding themselves down again at 3-2 in the final minute. Senior defender Amy Song, whose long throws were controlled the entire game, sent her final one deep inside the penalty area for Seyoum to finish off in front.

In the deciding penalty kicks, Brittany Yancey, Kathryn Rodgers and Becky Perrault converted their chances for the Hawks while two Eastern Tech shots missed wide right, enabling Seyoum to cap the Hawks' impressive comeback.

After the game, the Mavericks were understandably distraught despite the fine season and strong effort yesterday, unable to hold back tears. When asked to describe the disappointment, junior sweeper Kelsey Ports simply said, "It's on our faces."

Added Eastern Tech coach Kim Williams: "It's really tough. Since this day last year, we've been determined to get back here and make it end differently this year. The season overall, we did wonderful. We can't complain. We can't put our heads down. Even today, as much as it hurts."

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