By Nickolai Sukharev @Nickolaiss
After defeating the Urbana Hawks to claim the state title at Loyola University in Baltimore, the Whitman Vikings became the third Montgomery County team in as many years to win the trophy, following the Walter Johnson Wildcats in 2016 and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons in 2017.
Finishing as runners-up in the 4A South League, the Vikings defeated the Barons, the Churchill Bulldogs, and Gaithersburg Trojans to claim the regional title. In the state semifinals, the Vikings overcame the Broadneck Barons from Annapolis in a 4-3 penalty shootout after a scoreless match.
In the state final, the Vikings mounted a 2-1 comeback to defeat the Hawks, earning Whitman Coach Dave Greene his 10th state title, including his sixth as head coach.
“We had an entire winter and summer to think about it, and these guys made a decision early on, that [winning the state title] was going to happen,” said Greene in a post-game press conference. “It doesn’t always work out that way but I was always very confident about their abilities.”
The MPSSAA season format remained the same as in 2017, with 4A schools organized into three of the four divisions while the 3A and 2A schools comprised the remaining group. In the postseason playoffs, the teams were divided into four regions, North, South, East and West, each consisting of two sections.
Churchill won the 4A South division with a 7-2 record over the county powerhouses Walter Johnson, B-CC, Whitman, and Churchill as well as Kennedy, Wheaton and Einstein.
Reigning champions B-CC finished the season with a 2-5 record, before losing to Whitman in the sectional semifinals.
Gaithersburg won the 4A West division, followed by Wootton and joined by Clarksburg, Northwest, Quince Orchard, and Richard Montgomery while Montgomery Blair topped the 4A North division over Paint Branch, Northwood, Sherwood and Springbrook.
In the combined 3A/2A division, Magruder finished their season with a perfect record over Damascus, Rockville, Poolesville, Watkins Mill, James H. Blake and Seneca Valley. Magruder went on to defeat Westminster Senior High School, Manchester Valley and North Hagerstown before falling to the C. Milton Wright High School in the 3A state final.
2018 MCPS Coaches’ 20 best players in boys soccer in the County:
- Natan Rosen, Whitman, senior, midfield, 17 goals, 11 assists
- Oscar Barrientos, Gaithersburg, junior, midfield, 8 goals, 17 assists
- Aria Ahadpour, Churchill, senior, forward, 15 goals, 6 assists
- Nathan Messer, B-CC, senior, forward, 6 goals, 8 assists
- Brian Murphy, Churchill, senior, midfield, 1 goal, 0 assists
- Ian Poe, Whitman, junior, midfield, 3 goals, 6 assists
- Alek Wroblewski, Wootton junior, forward, 8 goals, 10 assists
- Liam Giffen, Northwest, junior, defender, 3 goals, 0 assists
- Diego Ramirez, Sherwood, junior, midfield, 2 goals, 5 assists
- Matthew Kopsidas, Wootton, junior, goalkeeper
- Ryan Machado, Whitman, senior, forward, 7 goals, 8 assists
- Thomas Zinngrebe, Walter Johnson, senior, goalkeeper
- Josue Barrera, Magruder, senior, midfield, 6 goals, 28 assists
- Thomas Mande, Whitman, senior, midfield, 3 goals, 5 assists
- Bennet Schwartz, B-CC, senior, goalkeeper, 6 goals, 4 assists
- Shawn Diboti, Churchill, senior, midfield, 9 goals, 8 assists
- Tim Lee, Damascus, junior, forward, 13 goals, 5 assists
- Justin Dasuki, Wootton, senior, defender, 1 goal, 1 assist
- Jacob Ifreke, Magruder, senior, defender, 1 goal, 3 assists
- Jordan Ventura, B-CC, senior, midfield, 5 goals, 4 assists