Leonardtown’s game-winning goal by Noah Kowalko (Credit: Mark Pinkel)

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – It’s an exciting time for the Leonardtown Raiders and the Northwestern Wildcats. The boy’s soccer teams will go head to head at the 4A state championship game at Loyola University this Friday.

The Raiders beat Whitman 2-1 in overtime at Glen Burnie High School, on Saturday, with sophomore Noah Kowalko kicking the game-winning goal.

The Wildcats had an identical overtime victory over Urbana. Josue Mejia Rico scored the game-winning goal in that matchup.

Leonardtown coach Luke Kokolios says the boys are finally reaping what they’ve been sowing since August with an opportunity to win a State Title.

“We experienced some growing pains early on in the season as the boys worked hard to learn the system of play, as well as the demands we placed on them from a team culture standpoint. However, we hit a turning point as a team midway into the season when we suffered our only loss of the season at home to North Point.”

Kokolios says the team used that loss as a springboard to grow their team’s character and toughness and it has proven to be a catalyst for their season.

“On the whole, It’s been a real collective effort from every single player on this team to get us to this point and we’re grateful for the opportunity to compete at the highest stage in high school soccer. The players have worked tremendously hard and all of them have sacrificed a lot to make it here. The boys have earned the right to play in the State Championship and we’ll give Northwestern our best on Friday.”

Wildcats coach Victor Ramirez posted their game-winning shot on Facebook and received dozens of Congratulations comments.

The championship is this Friday, November 17th at 5 pm at Loyola University in Baltimore.

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com

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