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(Enlarge) Katlyn Axenfeld, left, who scored the lone goal in the game on a corner kick, hugs Lauren Ignacio after Reservoir defeated Huntingtown, 1-0, in the Class 3A girls soccer state championship at UMBC Retriever Stadium Thursday. (Staff photo by Matt Roth)

Reservoir shut out Huntingtown, 1-0, to win the school’s first state championship – boys or girls -- in soccer. Katlyn Axenfeld curved a corner kick over the outstretched fingertips of Huntingtown keeper Shelby Taylor with less than five minutes left in the first half for the lone goal in the Class 3A final at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Axenfeld was as surprised as anyone that the goal settled into the upper corner – or in the net at all.

“I didn’t see it,” said Axenfeld, who didn’t realize she had scored until her teammates started running toward her in celebration. “They told me the goalie brushed it,” said the senior center midfielder.

“That was a beautiful corner kick,” said Huntingtown coach Jill Twetten.

Huntingtown “was marking (Megan Jackson and myself) so tight that we knew we needed someone else to score,” said Amanda Jackson. The sisters have 21 goals between them this season. “When Katlyn scored, it caught them off-guard.”

Although Reservoir dominated the first half, Huntington picked up the pressure in the second half. Reservoir keeper Megan Fowler made four saves – and all came in the last minutes of the game.

Fowler punched out two back-to-back corner kicks within seconds around the 10-minute mark, and Megan Jackson headed out a third corner kick. With four minutes left, Fowler made another save on a corner kick and, a minute later, saved a long shot from Melissa Sweredoski.

Huntingtown had two more corners in the last two minutes.

“We’ve had trouble finishing” all season, said Sweredoski. But, she added, in the second half, the team “felt a sense of urgency.” After being down just one goal, “We realized, hey, we’re still in this game.”

“The corner kicks were tough. Megan did a great job,” said left back Delany Reiff, a freshman defender who rejected three straight shots by Huntingtown 15 minutes into the second half as the Hurricanes were stepping up their game.

Reservoir’s defense gave up one goal during the five playoff games, and that one tally was scored by Howard in the first round of regional play.

Reservoir lost to Tuscarora last year in the championship game, but the Gators, who finished at 15-3-1, learned a lesson.

“We needed to come here and be serious,” said Axenfeld, explaining that just getting to the championship game was enough for last year’s team.

“Our goal this year was not just to get here but to win,” said Amanda Jackson.


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