Sunday, November 25, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Howard Teams Rake In the State Titles
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, November 22, 2007; HO10

With River Hill's 2-1 double-overtime victory over Eastern Tech and Glenelg's 2-0 victory over Sparrows Point, Howard County has claimed 14 of 43 state titles since 1997.

That's the most by any county in that time.

River Hill (18-1-1) and Glenelg (12-6-1) have combined for 11 of those titles.

"Howard County, I think, has some of the stronger high school teams," said Glenelg senior forward Emily Horwath, whose sixth goal of the season gave the Gladiators their second straight title and fifth since 1997. "There's a lot of girls coming over from the club teams and freshmen and sophomores moving up, so there's still going to be good soccer."

Glenelg (12-6-1), which has been in six state finals in 11 seasons, demonstrated how Howard teams always seem to reload.

The Gladiators graduated 10 seniors, including eight starters, from last season's state title winning team, which went 11-5-3 and finished ranked seventh.

After dropping five of its first eight games, Glenelg won 10 of its final 11 before claiming the title Saturday.
"This is an entirely new group of girls," Glenelg Coach Dean Sheridan said. "At the beginning of the season, I thought we'd go 4-10, but I knew we'd win the state title."

After going 20-0 in winning last season's 3A title, River Hill (18-1-1) dropped to the 2A division, where it was dominant, outscoring its opponents, 70-16.

Senior forward Erica Suter (19 goals) headed in Brittany Yancey's corner kick in the third minute of the second overtime to give River Hill its sixth state title since 1997.

"Honestly, I feel like we could have won the 3A title this year," said Suter, whose team defeated 3A champion Urbana, 3-0, in September.

River Hill also defeated 1A champion Glenelg (12-6-1) and last season's 4A winner Leonardtown (14-3) this season.

But perhaps it was Wilde Lake's 3-2 shootout loss to Urbana in Thursday's 3A final that exemplified the county's soccer strength.

Without three of its starters, including senior forward Katie Leffner (10 goals), Wilde Lake (16-5) relied on goals from Caitlin Duff and Faryn Watts to play 3A power Urbana (12-3-1) to a 2-2 tie before losing in the shootout.

"Howard County is a nightmare," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said. "There's a lot of good teams coming out of Howard County."

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