The boys soccer team (15–1) escaped with a win over the Broadneck Bruins (16–3) Saturday in a penalty shootout to advance to the Maryland 4A state final.
The Vikes’ defense had another spectacular game as goalie Sam Nordheimer made multiple impressive saves. Center Backs Hunter Lee and Zain Memon also stood firm against the Bruins’ attack. Offensively, the team dominated possession and attacked aggressively throughout the game, but weren’t able to crack the Bruins’ solid defense.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net before the end of regulation, thus sending the game to extra time, marking the first time this season that the Vikes didn’t finish in regulation.
The team had many more offensive opportunities in extra time while the defense held solid. However, after two scoreless extra time periods, the game went into a decisive penalty shootout.
“In the huddle before the shootout, we reminded everyone how prepared we were for that moment,” Nordheimer said. “No matter what, we shouldn’t second guess ourselves on our penalties.”
The Bruins started the shootout with a shot off the crossbar that bounced out. After trading goals, including strikes from forwards Natan Rosen, and Andrew Goldsholle, as well as midfielder Thomas Mande, forward Ryan Machado Jones sailed a ball over the net to even the score. In the key moment of the match, Nordheimer dove correctly on a potential go ahead Bruins goal and saved it. The team, parents, and students went crazy.
“Saving the penalty towards the end of the shootout felt amazing,” Nordheimer said. “It felt good to know I had done my part after watching my teammates work so hard for the whole game.”
To win the match, forward Eduardo Blatt Caruso walked up to take the penalty as the whole stadium was silent and tense. After a stutter step to freeze the goalie, Caruso launched the ball to the back of net, and the crowd erupted as he sent the Vikes back to the state finals for the first time since 2014.
“When I saw the ball going in and realized we were now in the state finals, I went crazy,” Caruso said. “It’s hard to describe how I was feeling.”
The Vikes now play for the Maryland 4A state championship at Loyola University against the Urbana Hawks (17–2) Friday at 5pm.
A state championship would complete a dominant season for the Vikes which includes a national ranking of #16 as of Nov. 6. It would also give head coach Dave Greene his 10th state championship with Whitman, achieving the campaign many Whitman soccer players have made familiar, La Decima.
“We feel very confident coming into the state championship,” Nordheimer said. “Urbana is an excellent team, but we know that if we continue to play our best soccer, we will win the game.”