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Middletown gets all tied up again

November 18, 2000

Middletown gets all tied up again



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


CATONSVILLE, Md. - After last season's tie in the Class 2A state final, the Middletown girls soccer team focused all year on ending this season with a win.

And while Middletown didn't lose in Saturday's state championship against Hereford at UMBC Stadium, the Knights didn't come out as winners, either, for the second year in a row.

The Bulls rallied from a one-goal deficit at halftime, and the Knights missed out on two solid chances in overtime as the teams ended in a 1-1 tie to share the state championship.

"I thought we had it, and then when it went to OT, I knew that was it," Middletown senior midfielder Stef Burroughs said. "It was deja vu all over again. Ten minutes goes by pretty fast."

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Despite going into the wind in the first half, the Knights (16-3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute. Megan Durant shot into a crowd from 15 yards out, and the ball went through the legs of teammate Trista Haupt and Hereford keeper Becky Rambo for a 1-0 lead.

"At that point, we really thought we could get through 1-0," Middletown coach John Miller said. "How it ended up, I don't think, was indicative of things."

Statistically, it was true. Middletown outshot the Bulls, 11-3, but Hereford's all-state striker, Hollis Botti, made sure that it was about quality and not quantity. After a ball bounced through the legs of Middletown's Lacey Gawler, Botti picked it up and fired a 17-yard bullet over keeper Anna Halse's head to tie the game.

"In the end, neither team really got a quality shot," Hereford coach Steve Power said. "Middletown developed the ball beautifully in the middle, but our defense kept them from producing."

Middletown had a chance with a minute left in regulation when Rambo was out of her net for almost 20 seconds, but Jody Rhoderick's shot came just as the keeper returned to her net, and she punched it away.

As the final buzzer rang, both teams walked off the field with a half of a title and no satisfaction.

"It's very frustrating for us," Power said. "And if you're them, it's really hard because they did it last year."

"I guess it's just not Middletown's luck to win one of these," Burroughs said.

Or at least for the Knights to win one by themselves.

"Hey, I appreciate this," Miller said. "If you'd have asked the girls before, they would have said they'd rather lose than be co-champs again. But as bad as we feel now, it would be 10 times worse if they'd have lost."

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