On Nov. 10, 1990, Thomas S. Wootton's boys soccer team beat Perry Hall to win a regional title and advance to the state semifinals.
Exactly 22 years later, Wootton again beat Perry Hall in a state tournament soccer game, only this time, one round later.
Senior Matt Hoy's two goals helped Wootton advance to the state championship for the first time in school history with a 3-1 victory against the Gators Saturday at Richard Montgomery High School.
“Maybe there was a little good karma going there,” Patriots coach Doug Schuessler said of the calendar coincidence. “Now I need to find out what happened on November 15.”
The 15th, of course, being one of three possible dates for the Patriots to play in the state title match at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County against Severna Park.
“The whole way, we've had fans supporting us,” Wootton midfielder Spiros Tsakos said. “We want it so much. We had a chance to make history. We've already done it and we have a chance to do it one more time.”
Hoy, who now has 25 goals and nine assists this season, was a force from the start.
His first goal came in the sixth minute when he settled a long ball from Matt McDonell, turned quickly in the box and blasted it by Gators 'keeper Austin Kroll.
The Patriots continued to apply heavy pressure and control play until a pivotal moment in the 25th minute when defender Andrew Jasen was called for a handball in the box, awarding a penalty kick to Perry Hall.
Justin Ornelas took the kick for the Gators, which Wootton goalkeeper Jeremy Yeager dove to his right and saved.
“This whole season, we've been pretty dominant. I haven't had much work back there. This was my moment to prove that I was as much a part of this team as everyone else,” Yeager said.
Perry Hall tied the match roughly a minute later, however, when Ornelas planted a header in off a corner kick.
“We got the first goal and kept pushing hard,” Schuessler said. “After 10 minutes of that it's maybe natural to relax a little bit. When you relax against a team that's a hard-working, over-the-top physical team they punish you for it.”
About six minutes into the second half, Wootton was the recipient of some good luck. With a bounding ball in the box, Patriots defender Caleb Oh lined up to strike it, but Perry Hall defender Nate Liberto got there first. Liberto attempted to clear the ball over the goal, but his kick sailed directly into the top corner of his side's net for an own goal to give the Patriots a 2-1 lead.
In the 72nd minute, Hoy iced the match when he sprinted by the defense, running onto a through ball, and chipped one over Kroll and just under the crossbar.
“The last one was definitely, definitely lucky,” Hoy said. “One of their backs was closing in a lot quicker than I thought. I saw him coming and I put a little chip on it and was lucky to just have it dip under the bar.”
Boys Soccer 4A State Semifinal
Thomas S. Wootton 3, Perry Hall 1
Thomas S. Wootton (16-1-1) 1 2 — 3
Perry Hall (12-4-2) 1 0 — 1
Thomas S. Wootton — Matt Hoy 2 (6', 72')
Perry Hall — Justin Ornelas (26'), Nate Liberto (own goal, 46')
Thomas S. Wootton — Spiros Tsakos (6')
Perry Hall — Nicky Jones (26')
Thomas S. Wootton — Jeremy Yeager, 3
Perry Hall — Austin Kroll, 7