By Brandy L. Simms
BALTIMORE — When the final whistle blew, the C. Milton Wright Mustangs boys varsity soccer team rushed onto the field to celebrate the school’s second consecutive Maryland state championship, defeating the Magruder Colonels, 2-1.
Magruder’s bid to capture the boys’ soccer program’s first state championship in nearly a decade fell short Saturday night at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
Despite a valiant effort, the Colonels couldn’t overcome a two-goal deficit and fell to C.M. Wright in the Class 3A state title game.
“I’m extremely proud of you,” Magruder Principal Leroy Evans told the team afterward. “I’m proud of your coaches. This was big. This had to be their toughest game.”
A year ago on the very same field, the Harford County public school had celebrated an overtime victory that ended in penalty kicks.
The Mustangs, who repeated as state champions after three unsuccessful bids, scored on Jayson Butler’s penalty kick to go up 1-0 and later scored on Conner Appleby’s goal on a mistake by Magruder goalkeeper JC Cortez.
“Ryan Lindsey sent a decent ball that their team had to make a play on and it didn’t go their way and it just tipped back,” said Appleby. “I was able to knock it towards the goal. I mis-hit it and the keeper put it in himself.”
Appleby also added that his team would welcome a goal “any way it comes.”
Magruder, who finished the season at 16-4, scored early in the second half on a goal by junior Chris Juarez.
There was no doubt in the minds of coaches and players that Magruder had given C. Milton Wright all they could handle.
“We were prepared for this game,” said Magruder head coach David Edlow. “I thought our boys did a really nice job.”
During the postgame news conference, C. Milton Wright head coach Brian Tully praised the Magruder players for their effort. He was particularly pleased with the performance of Magruder senior defender Ifreke Jacob.
“He was legit,” said Tully. “He’s a legit player. He made life difficult for us. He did a really good job with limiting our opportunities.”
The Colonels were seeking to capture the school’s first state championship in nearly a decade. Magruder, who last won a state title in 2010, has captured three state championships over the years. The Colonels also won state titles in 2001 and 2007.
Magruder won their first state championship in 2001 under then-head coach Scott Alexander and then captured a state title six years later when Scott Hughes guided the team.
Trevin London coached the squad to a state championship during the 2010 campaign when the Colonels beat Urbana, 2-0.
The Magruder senior class was special, they helped the Colonels capture the MCPS 3A/2A Division and featured Vidal Castillo-Flores, Diego Meza, Ivan Meza, Jorge Mendez, Evan Koehn, Baboucarr Sanyang, Josue Barrera, Tiago Silva, Luis Mendez, Javier Campos and Matthew Bruckner along with Jacob.
Edlow commended the entire unit and offered praise on their performance throughout the season.
“These guys never gave up,” said Edlow, “and did whatever they could to try to get the result they wanted.”