The visiting Patuxent Panthers put 23 shots on goal against the Gwynn Park Yellow Jackets and senior goalie Daniel Mojica on a very chilly Tuesday afternoon to win the Class 2A South Region championship.
Patuxent scored early and the 2-0 halftime score turned into a 5-0 shutout.
Fourth-seeded Patuxent (9-6 overall) entered the region finals after defeating Frederick Douglass, 10-0, and Southern of Anne Arundel County, 3-1. It will take on the winner of the East Region championship between Fallston of Harford County and Queen’s Anne of Queen Anne’s County in the state semifinals later this week at Bel Air High School.
Patuxent coach Brett Hansen said his team has their eyes on the state plaque and the chance to play the state championship game at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“We’re not stopping here, we’re going all the way,” Hansen said.
Patuxent’s Nick Carlson scored early, just 2 minutes 6 seconds into the matchup. Carlson said that he knew a little bit about Gwynn Park coming in.
“We knew pretty much what to look for and what we’d see,” Carlson said. “We came out pretty strong and knew what we had to do from there.”
Second-seeded Gwynn Park, headed by first-year coach Glen Breeding said his team’s play was somewhat uncharacteristic.
“Unfortunately it ends here,” Breeding said. “Our defense has been what primarily got us here and we just made a few mistakes early on and that gives the other team momentum. Soccer’s a funny game. The team that we beat two games ago [Calvert] beat them. It’s just that way sometimes.”
Breeding said that a core group of his team will return next year. The Yellow Jackets end the season with a 12-2-1 record overall.
“It’s the fundamentals that we’re trying to improve,” Breeding said. “That will help them improve on their footwork. We’re not known as a soccer school, but we’re committed to bringing soccer here and bringing it with passion. I like kids that play with passion. They’re good kids, they’re really upset right now. They were just a little off today.”
Patuxent’s Eric Elder scored the second goal of the match in the seventh minute from 15 yards out.
Gwynn Park held the Panthers off the scoreboard until the second half when captain Jake Hayden scored just 1:10 into the half. Carlson added another to his tally and Noah Oster tacked on another goal with less than two minutes left in the contest.
“I think they [Gwynn Park] played physical,” Oster said. “They were fast. It was tough to keep them contained at times. I think we did a good job keeping our composure and keeping the speed of the game up and playing our game. I think we did a good job of keeping our heads up in the second half and putting some more goals in so we could put the game away.”
Mojica made 18 saves in the contest.
Patuxent 5, Gwynn Park 0
Patuxent 2 3
Gwynn Park 0 0
Goals: Patuxent (Carlson 2, Elder, Hayden, N. Oster)
Saves: Patuxent (Frawley 3); Gwynn Park (Mojica 18)