The Maryland state championships at Loyola University are set.
Thursday night, River Hill will play Walkersville for its third consecutive Maryland 2A championship. The Hawks defeated Hereford in the state semifinal, 2-1, behind goals from forwards Brigette Wang and Adriana Zakel’s. River Hill’s only loss came in its season-opener against Leonardtown. Coach Brian Song has won five state championships over the past six years.
Whitman will face Perry Hall in the Maryland 4A championship Friday. The Vikings also haven’t lost since their season-opener against Quince Orchard. Whitman defeated Anne Arundel County’s top team, Severna Park, in the state semifinals Saturday. Freshman Delaney DeMartino headlines Whitman’s attack, as Coach Greg Herbert seeks his third state title over the past six years.
While the Maryland state finals are still a few days away, last weekend produced another champion as St. John’s topped Wilson for the DCSAA championship.
“Having a goal to win a championship, it’s awesome to see that come to fruition,” Cadets coach Sal Caccavale said after his team won on penalty kicks.
Down goes St. John’s. The top-ranked Cadets were upset by Gonzaga on Saturday afternoon, falling short of the WCAC championship and a possible national title bid. The Eagles’ 24-14 win also knocked St. John’s off the No. 1 ranking for the first time this season; DeMatha inherits the top spot before its meeting with Gonzaga in the WCAC final.
The Stags punched their ticket to Sunday’s game at Catholic University by beating Good Counsel, 30-14. Senior DeMarcco Hellams led DeMatha with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a blocked punt that led to a safety.
When Masai Brown-Andrews’s penalty shot hit the back of the net Sunday evening, memories of the past three years popped into St. John’s Coach Sal Caccavale’s mind.
Caccavale began coaching the Cadets three years ago, and though the team struggled the past two seasons, Brown-Andrews’s goal sealed the Cadets’ 3-3 (3-2) victory in penalty kicks over Wilson in the D.C. State Athletic Association championship game.
For the sixth time in as many years, St. John’s volleyball players huddled around the D.C. State Athletic Association banner — this time throwing up six fingers to mark their latest victory. The Cadets swept Sidwell Friends on Friday, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, to remain the only victors in the DCSAA since the league began in 2013.
After Mia Bookhard’s second goal, the one from well outside the box that sealed a 3-2 WCAC championship win over St. John’s, the Good Counsel junior jumped up and down, tucking her legs in and then pounding them hard into the turf like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
But this was a fit of joy for the forward, whose brace helped the Falcons complete a dominant year with a conference championship at Catholic University.
“We worked really hard for this,” Bookhard said. “We put all our effort into it, and we stayed together as a team. We played together because we love each other.”
Defending champion St. John’s (9-4-1) got on the board first when senior Gabriella Nastasi converted in the 20th minute. Freshman Trinity Dorsey responded for the Falcons minutes later, and the game went to halftime tied.
Bookhard spent much of the season as a defender, but she was moved up top a few games ago. She scored in every game since, and Sunday she gave the Falcons (17-1-3) the lead in the 48th minute. She got a through ball and touched it past the roaming goalkeeper into the box. From there, all she had to do was win a race with her defender. She did, and the tie was broken.
“Our goal was just to pressure their defense, making good runs and attacking on the outside, because that’s where our strengths are,” Bookhard said.
Meghan O’Donovan added a goal for the Cadets in the final minutes, but it was too late.
“This was a big team effort. Not to knock anyone in the past, but we played so much as a team,” said Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno, who has won 12 conference championships with the Falcons. “The leadership, the character of the team — I’ll remember that.”