Boys soccer defeats Wootton 4–3 in overtime to advance to state finals

The+boys+soccer+team+celebrates+their+4%E2%80%933+overtime+win+over+Wootton+in+the+state+semifinals.++Photo+courtesy+of+Sos+Mboijana.
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Boys soccer defeats Wootton 4–3 in overtime to advance to state finals

The boys soccer team celebrates their 4–3 overtime win over Wootton in the state semifinals.  Photo courtesy of Sos Mboijana.

The boys soccer team celebrates their 4–3 overtime win over Wootton in the state semifinals. Photo courtesy of Sos Mboijana.

The boys soccer team celebrates their 4–3 overtime win over Wootton in the state semifinals. Photo courtesy of Sos Mboijana.

The boys soccer team celebrates their 4–3 overtime win over Wootton in the state semifinals. Photo courtesy of Sos Mboijana.

By Matt Mande

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The boys soccer team (16–1–1) defeated the Wootton Patriots (13–2) 4–3 in overtime in an intense, back-and-forth matchup Saturday night to advance to the state championship.

The Vikes and the Patriots, respectively the first and second divisional seeds, both began the game with strong defensive work. Possession remained relatively equal, with both sides working hard to penetrate the opposing team’s defense and create opportunities. 

The Vikes struck first 15 minutes into the first half off a cross from winger Harmond Cohen, headed by midfielder Aaron Gunther to give the Vikes a 1–0 lead. The team held their one-goal lead for the remainder of the half, fending off attacks from the Patriot’s offense, and working to keep possession of the ball. 

The second half proved more active, with both teams creating more chances and defensive players tiring. The Patriots netted their first goal of the match eight minutes in off a long shot from midfielder Arden Matikyan to tie the game at one apiece. 

The Vikes quickly rebounded, however, with a second goal netted by Cohen to once again take the lead 2–1. The team held their lead for fifteen minutes following crucial saves by goalkeeper Austin Mboijana, but the Patriots offense quickly scored two goals, taking the lead 3–2 with eight minutes left in regulation time. 

The Vikes, driven to make the state finals for the second year in a row, began to attack the Patriot’s defense vigorously. The strategy proved successful when defender Abe Hoogeveen netted the team’s third goal to tie the game at three and send the game into overtime.

The first period of overtime remained scoreless, with neither team able to net any of their chances. Tensions remained high throughout, with both crowds cheering loudly for their respective teams. 

The Vikes started off the second overtime strong, playing the ball over the top to create chances. With three minutes left, winger Hugo Barnes was illegally pushed off the ball in the box, gaining a penalty for the Vikes. Striker Chris Vogel netted the penalty kick, placing the ball in the bottom right corner to win the game and send the Vikes to the state championship for the second year in a row.

“It was thrilling,” Vogel said. “There’s nothing like scoring the game-winning goal in an important matchup like Saturday night’s.”

The team next faces the Leonardtown Raiders (19–0) Saturday at 7:30 pm at Loyola University in the Maryland State Finals.

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