Walter Johnson vs. Whitman soccer rivalry
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Whitman’s boys soccer team was the No. 34 ranked team in America this season. The squad posted a 14–3 record, which included their first ever victory over formerly No. 1 ranked St. Benedict’s Prep, and perennial powerhouse Dematha. In addition, the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer named forward Andreas Djurhuus and defender Dylan Reid to Maryland’s All-State first team.
Yet, their archrival Walter Johnson had a slightly better season. The Washington Post’s No. 1 ranked team and state champions stormed through the season with a 18–1 record, besting Whitman on two hard-fought occasions: a 4–0 regular season victory and a 2–1 postseason victory in the regional semifinal which ended the Vikings season.
The Wildcats also had two All-State players, forward Justin Hahn and defender Felix Wu.
This season marked one of the most competitive seasons between the two teams in years. Each team set or tied their season-high win total over the last three years and spent time in the top three of the Washington Post’s All-Met rankings.
The Vikes’ two losses to the Wildcats sent them to seventh in the final standings, while the Wildcats’ winning streak vaulted them into the number one spot.
The Vikes lost their first meeting with the Wildcats because they did not account for their opponents height on offense, Reid said.
“Their striker had a lot of height on us at 6 foot 5,” he said. “They would just play it over top of our defenders and he would head it right in. We didn’t know how to stop it.”
The Vikes made adjustments in the second game, tailoring their defense around the Wildcats forward.
“Every time he went for a header, either the center back or the outside back would tuck in,” Reid said. “We made sure that all our midfielders were tracking their runners.”
The gameplan limited the Wildcat attack, but the Vikes could not secure the victory, losing 2–1.
However, with a core made up of mainly seniors for the Wildcats, the Vikes are confident in their ability to overtake them next season.
“I can already see it being a close game,” said forward Lars Crovetto-Soholt, who will be a senior on next year’s squad. “We have some new players coming in next year along with some of the younger guys ready to step up.”