The Eastern Tech girls soccer team did what no team has done for seven years: defeat Sparrows Point in the playoffs.
The Mavericks stunned the host Pointers 1-0 on Oct. 29 in the Class 2A North Region II championship game. It was the first postseason loss for the six-time defending Class 1A state champions since losing to Brunswick in the 2012 Class 1A state semifinals.
Eastern Tech entered the playoffs with a 5-6 record and defeated Chesapeake 8-0 and Overlea 10-0 before upsetting Sparrows Point.
The Mavericks’ postseason run ended in the state quarterfinals, where eighth-seeded Eastern Tech lost to unbeaten top-seeded Century 1-0 on Saturday.
The winning goal came with 18 minutes remaining in the game. A crossing pass by Century instead took a good bounce and went over the head of the Eastern Tech goalkeeper and into the goal.
Emma Tawney excelled against Sparrows Point, repeatedly frustrating the Pointers with save after save — particularly in the last 20 minutes, when the increasingly desperate Pointers were pressing from every conceivable angle in an attempt to tie the score and keep their quest for a seventh straight state title alive.
Sparrows Point entered the game with an 11-1-1 record, its fifth Baltimore County championship in six years and not having lost to Eastern Tech in over a decade.
The Mavericks countered with the confidence gained from only losing 1-0 to the Pointers during the regular season.
“It definitely helped us,” Eastern Tech coach Kim Williams said. “We had opportunities in that game. We hit the post, and had a few good shots that [Pointer goalkeeper Jaddah] Foos grabbed.
“We weren’t intimidated by them. We played them hard, knew we could beat them, could hang with them. That was our focus today.”
The game was scoreless until the Mavericks got a goal off a direct kick by Alexis Kellerposen, albeit not quite in the way they drew it up.
“I was trying to place the ball to one of my teammates,” Kellerposen said. “The ball hit off one of their layers and went into the goal.”
It still counted for Eastern Tech.
It was then up to Tawney and the defense, holding on through “the longest 28 minutes of my life,” as one Maverick described it.
It was the first regional title for Eastern Tech since 2010, and brightened what had been a lost decade for the Mavericks.
Eastern Tech won nine regional titles in the 2000’s, missing only in 2006, reached the state championship game three times and won a state title in 2005.
“It’s been a while since we got out of our region,” Williams said. The roadblock usually was Hereford, but the new classification alignment moved the Bulls up to Class 3A starting this season.
“Right now, we’re glad to be here. This is a great bunch of girls.”