Manchester Valley lines up after beating Brunswick in the Class… (Jen Rynda, Patuxent Publishing )
In an instant, the Manchester Valley girls soccer team made a memorable impression that led to history in its first Class 1A state championship game Saturday against Brunswick.
Senior midfielder Kristen Cannon provided the touch, scoring 30 seconds in on a shot from 12 yards after junior Victoria Graham made a strong run with the ball down the right side.
And just like that, the tone was set for the Mavericks, who went on to defeat the Railroaders from Frederick County, 4-1, at UMBC Stadium and bring home the three-year-old school’s first team state title.
“I was so nervous right off the bat, I couldn’t believe it," said Cannon, who finished the season with 13 goals and nine assists. "Right when Victoria kicked it, I knew there was an opportunity, I kind of felt it. I was really nervous, but I was pretty confident that I could take the goalie. … It felt really good to get one right away,”
Manchester Valley coach Joe Miller, whose Mavericks defeated Brunswick, 4-2, back on Sept. 12, estimated it would take two goals to get the win with his defense pitching shutout wins in four playoff wins to reach the title game.
Getting the first one that early took off the edge, and the Mavericks went on to control throughout, getting second-half goals from Danielle Rill, Abbey Dasch and Karlyn Warzinski to build a 4-0 advantage before the Railroaders scored on a penalty kick taken by Dara Demich with five minutes left.
“I think it’s good that we left our mark,” senior midfielder Taylor Gress said. “A lot of the team came from North Carroll, and when we played them and won [in the region semifinals], I was like ‘You know what, we have to go all the way. It’s our senior year, it’s the last chance we have and we have a good enough team.’ It’s feels great be the first Manchester Valley team to make it.”
Class 1A final
Manchester Valley 4, Brunswick 1
Goals: MV – Cannon, Rill, Dasch, Warzinski; B -- Demich
Assists: MV – Graham.
Saves: MV – Gereny 2, Hale 2; B – Shriver 5.
Half: MV, 1-0