For Stone Bridge forward Murielle Tiernan, there is only one way she is going to stop hustling after a ball. “When they kick it out,” she said.

In her three seasons for the third-ranked Bulldogs, Tiernan, an All-Met last spring, has displayed that quality. Her combination of speed, size, skill and drive has plagued defenses for 21 goals and 17 assists this season. In Thursday night’s 3-1 win over Lake Braddock in a Virginia AAA Northern Region quarterfinal in Burke, Tiernan was in top form.

She tied the game in the 30th minute when she dribbled up the right wing, kept the ball inbounds with a lucky touch off her heel, slipped through two defenders and tapped in the goal. It seemed as if the play was over three different times.

The Bulldogs’ second goal came in similar non-stop fashion. In the 52nd minute, Tiernan dribbled towards the goal, was met by defenders and managed to maintain control of the ball long enough to slip a pass to teammate Ashley Herndon, who knocked it home for a 2-1 lead.

“She never stops,” said Herndon, also an All-Met forward last spring. “It’s really fun to play with her because I can run no matter what and I know it’s going to get there.”

Stone Bridge (14-2-2) will face Yorktown on Wednesday with a berth in the AAA state tournament on the line. Yorktown edged No. 9 Robinson, 2-1, on Thursday.

Herndon added another goal in the 61st minute and Stone Bridge cruised to victory, controlling possessions and limiting deep runs by Lake Braddock (11-4-3).

After winning the 2010 state title, Stone Bridge was bounced in the regional quarterfinals last spring. And despite injuries to two starting midfielders, the Bulldogs have adjusted and found their groove.

“We had a weak spot in the middle of the season and our team chemistry is getting better as we go along,” Tiernan said. “This was our best game yet. Last game was our best game yet. So we topped last game and we’ll hopefully top it next game.”

Around the area

Behind two goals from sophomore midfielder Meghan Flynn, Yorktown topped Robinson, considered an early-season favorite to contend for a state title.

Flynn gave her team a near-immediate lead when she scored about 30 seconds into the game with a right-footed shot about 15 yards out.

Robinson tied the score midway through the first half on senior Barbara Platenburg’s goal. The Rams pressured the Patriots constantly but their defense held.

Flynn added the game’s winning score with about four minutes left. It was a left-footed, sharp-angled shot just inside the penalty box.

“She scored a couple of goals like that this season,” Yorktown Coach Vicky Brunt said. “She’s not going to stop until the game is over.” ...

No. 8 W.T. Woodson (12-1-5), the defending region champion, notched a 1-0 win over Westfield, (7-6-3). The Cavaliers will now face Madison, which topped Lee in dramatic fashion. After knocking off No. 2 Chantilly in the tournament’s first round, the Warhawks defeated Lee (7-9-1) in penalties (3-1) on Thursday.

With the scored tied at 3-3 after regulation, Madison sophomore goalie Lexi Graham saved three Lee penalty kicks. Kaitlyn Dorka, Rebecca Henry and Rachel Moore made penalty kicks for Madison (9-5-3). Senior Shaydah Naraghi scored Madison’s three goals in regulation.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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