Getting to the state Final Four is hard. Getting back is harder. Four local boys’ soccer teams are on verge returning to the state semifinals as region final play takes place Tuesday.
Defending state champ and top-ranked Marriotts Ridge hosts Calvert from southern Maryland in the Class 2A South Region finals. The Mustangs defeated Southern-Anne Arundel in Friday’s semifinal round, 1-0, as freshman Amir Najib accounted for the scoring with a first half goal.
Calvert, seeded No. 7 in the region, outlasted SMAC rival Patuxent, 5-4. The Mustangs are seeking their third consecutive Final Four berth.
In all-Howard County finale, No. 2 River Hill and No. 11 Reservoir vie for the 3A East crown. The Gators ended No. 7 Wilde Lake’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory in Columbia Friday evening.
Jake Coccio’s tally midway was the difference for the Gators, who lost to the Wildecats, 2-1, in the regular season. Now standing in the way of the Gators’ first Final Four berth is eight-time state champ River Hill.
The Hawks put three goals across in the second half to eliminate defending region champ Atholton. Tommy Krug scored twice and Scott Tinker added a goal.
The Clarksville school will attempt to end a three-year state semifinal drought Tuesday afternoon. The Hawks defeated Reservoir, 2-1, during the regular season.
No. 16 Hereford, which reached the state 3A finals a year ago, travels to No. 15 Franklin for the 3A North championship. The top-seeded Indians fought off Aberdeen, 3-2, in double overtime in Friday semifinals.
The Bulls ended North Harford’s season with a 3-0 decision in Parkton in the other semifinal. The Baltimore County squads didn’t play during the regular season.
In 2A, Dundalk takes on Eastern Tech at CCBC-Dundalk for the North Region crown. The Owls, seeking a second straight state semifinal berth, eliminated Overlea, 4-1, in the semifinals Friday.
After an up-and-down season, Eastern Tech finds itself a victory away from its state semifinal trip since 2004. The Mavericks have posted a pair of 4-1 victories over Digital Harbor (quarterfinals) and Friday against Lansdowne. Dundalk defeated the Mavericks in last year’s region finals.
The Dundalk-Eastern Tech winner plays either Marriotts Ridge or Calvert this weekend at Bel Air. The host school boys’ squad is hoping to play in a state 2A Final Four contest too this weekend, but first must win at Wicomico in the East Region title match.
The Bobcats denied Fallston another opportunity at the state semifinals with a 2-1 double overtime victory Friday. Wicomico advanced with a 3-0 decision over Bayside Conference rival Parkside.
After ending Loch Raven’s title reign in 1A, Sparrows Point heads to Owings Mills for the North Region championship. The Pointers edged the Raiders, 1-0, Friday, avenging a 3-0 loss during the regular season.
Owings Mills disposed of Pikesville, 2-0, in Friday’s other semifinal. The Pointers and Eagles didn’t cross paths during the Baltimore County season.
The winner will play either Patterson Mill or Brunswick in a state Final Four contest at North County Saturday. Patterson Mill handled Bohemia Manor, 6-0, while Brunswick held off Oakdale from Frederick County, 2-1, in the semifinals.
Tuesday’s matchup in Bel Air will be a rematch of last year’s region finals, won by Brunswick, 2-1. The Huskies are looking for their first state semifinal berth.
A top 20 matchup will decide the 4A East Region championship with No. 13 Severna Park traveling to ninth-ranked Broadneck. The Falcons ended Anne Arundel County champ Arundel’s season with a 2-1 victory over the No. 1 seed Wildcats in a semifinal.
Billy Zito’s goal late in regulation tied it before Michael Utz won it in the second overtime. The Falcons played Arundel to a scoreless tie during the regular season.
Broadneck got a pair of second half goals from Evan Camm and eight saves from goalie Cody Neidermeier to turn back Great Mills, 2-0, in the other semifinals. The Bruins will look to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Falcons during the regular season and gained a second straight trip to the state semifinals.
After disappointment last playoff season, No. 4 Perry Hall is a victory away from a third state Final Four berth in four years. The Gators travel to Urbana in Frederick County for the Class 4A North Region crown.
Perry Hall’s Seong Kim’s successful kick lifted his team to a 6-5 PK decision over Thomas Johnson at CCBC-Essex. Urbana ended Dulaney’s season with a 5-1 victory. Zach Gude had Dulaney’s only goal.