Arundel completes Cinderella-esque run, tops No. 8 River Hill for 3A state field hockey title



by Trevor Colgan

Special to VSN

As the scoreboard clock at Washington College’s Kirby Field hit zero Saturday night, the Arundel High bench stormed toward goalie Savannah Brooks.

The Wildcats’ improbable run ended. Arundel is state field hockey champions.

The Anne Arundel County school captured the Class 3A crown with a 2-1 victory over No. 8 River Hill. 

The 12th-ranked Wildcats overcame an early deficit to cap their first state final four appearance since 1983 (lost in state semifinals), around the same time the Orioles won their last World Series.  

Buried in the shadow of Anne Arundel’s field hockey behemoths Severna Park (won 26th state title Saturday) and South River (seven titles), Arundel (11-8 overall) finally emerged as a champion under the Chestertown lights Saturday.

“It hasn’t set in,” coach Carrie Vosburg said of her team’s landmark performance. “It won’t set in, probably until tomorrow.”

Christina Candella was cool and clutch for Arundel field hockey Saturday night. The senior scored both goals for the Wildcats, who won their first state championshp with a 2-1 victory over River Hill in the Class 3A final at Washington College.

It didn’t come easy for the Gambrills school. The Wildcats started the season 0-6. 

“I think we all maybe questioned what we were doing,” Vosburg said of her team’s start.

River Hill (15-4), looking for its first state crown since 2010, got off to a good start in the first quarter. Laura Mason was able to find the goal off a rebound. 

In the second quarter, Madison Barber found Christina Candella for the tying goal. The Wildcats had a shot go off the post in the third.

The Hawks had the next big chance as Arundel goalie Savannah Brooks came off the goal line to stop the ball, but Hawks got the ball behind her. Jillian Trout was able to clear the ball away.

River Hill had several breakaway opportunities that were slowed by Arundel’s defense.

“Offensively we’ve been super strong,” Hawks coach Shelley Chamness said. “We’ve averaged almost five goals a game. I really thought we’d score more than one goal. Sometimes you just can’t find the cage.”

With 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Arundel took the lead. Candella scored her second goal, this time with an assist from Lana Hamilton. 

Candella was nervous on the bus ride Saturday, but Vosburg eased her angst.

“She said everyone makes mistakes,” Candella said. “The second you make a mistake, flush it. It’s going to happen regardless. If I made a small mistake I wouldn’t get down on myself, I’d just pick it right back up and go harder after that.”

After a 0-6 start, ending the season with a state title wasn’t likely for Arundel. After beating Crofton in the first round, the Wildcats started believing.  

‘They just bought in,” Vosburg said. “They came every day and put the work and the effort in.”


at Washington College

No. 12 Arundel 2, No. 8 River Hill 1

River Hill 1 0 0 0 — 0

Arundel 0 1 1 0 — 2

Goals: River Hill – Laura Mason; Arundel – Christina Candella (2)

Assists: Arundel – Madison Barber, Lana Hamilton

Saves: River Hill – Jocelyn Baker 4 ; Arundel Savannah Brooks 9