Boys’ soccer final Top 10: Gonzaga, Bowie are best of the bunch

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It’s hard not to think about the bigger picture in the aftermath of achieving a dream. For some of this year’s local boys’ soccer champions, earning titles brought perspective and reflection.

“This is not only for us; it’s for our people, it’s for our brothers, it’s for [Prince George’s] County,” Bowie defender Ethan Beauman-Ansah said after the Bulldogs captured the Maryland 4A title. “So it means a lot to go down in history and win another state title.”

Next to him at the post-game news conference table, Bulldogs Coach Frantz Deetjen was inspired to speak more about Prince George’s County, which has produced the last two 4A champions.

“There are some great teams; There are some great players,” he said. “It’s tough because some fields look like you wouldn’t even put your dog to play on, but we still come out and play. There are so many good teams in the entire state of Maryland. … We’re showing that you don’t have to go to an academy in order to make it to the next level.”

After Gonzaga completed an undefeated season by winning the DC State Athletic Association title, Gonzaga Coach Scott Waller reflected on his luck.

“These kids are amazing,” he said. “I’ve got the best coaching staff and the best kids. That’s what makes this easy.”

The Eagles and Bulldogs are two of a handful of teams that finished their seasons with wins. Six of the 10 teams in our final rankings won championships.

1. Gonzaga (25-0-1) Last ranked: 2

It was a magical season for the Eagles, who claimed the WCAC and DCSAA championships en route to their first undefeated season in two decades.

Kareem Davis’ goal gave the Bulldogs their first state title in 11 years.

3. Bishop McNamara (17-2-1) LR: 1

The Mustangs saw a breakout season end in overtime heartbreak as they fell to No. 1 Gonzaga on a dramatic game-winner in the WCAC championship.

4. Landon (15-2-3) LR: Not ranked

The Bears ceded the Interstate Athletic Conference regular season championship to St. Albans but got their revenge by topping the Bulldogs in the conference tournament title game.

5. Severna Park (17-3-0) LR: NR

The Falcons lost, 1-0, in the Maryland 4A title match against Bowie.

6. Glenelg (12-4-1) LR: NR

Vaughn Sines scored twice for the Gladiators as they captured the program’s first state title since 1997.

7. Potomac School (16-2-2) LR: NR

The Panthers finished as outright champions of the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference after winning the regular season crown and the tournament title.

8. Washington International (17-1-1) LR: NR

After dominating the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference this fall, the Red Devils held their own against No. 1 Gonzaga in the DCSAA title game.

The Blazers, a surprise contender in the Maryland 4A bracket, fell to No. 5 Severna Park by one goal in the state semifinal.

The Eagles, back-to-back champions of Howard County, came up just short of a state title.

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