Girls’ soccer: Meghan Flynn lifts Yorktown past W.T. Woodson

Just as a W.T. Woodson player had thrown the ball back into play, Yorktown junior Meghan Flynn veered off toward her sideline late in the first half of Thursday’s non-district game, pointing at a teammate on the bench. The reserve knew what Flynn wanted — a quick gulp of water — so she threw her a water bottle. Once Flynn was refreshed she faded back into play, and began menacing Woodson once again, having not missed a beat.

Flynn was all over the field Thursday, winning countless balls and breaking a scoreless game open with a swift 25-yard strike to lift the eighth-ranked Patriots to a grinding 1-0 win over the Cavaliers in Arlington.

Flynn’s tie-breaker arrived 22 minutes in, and it was the perfect remedy for a Yorktown (4-1) attack that seemed sluggish in the opening minutes. Flynn, who is committed to play at Villanova, broke into the open field after a crossover — then pulled up for a left-footed rocket that beat the W.T. Woodson goaltender top shelf.

“She kind of gave me the angle on the left side,” Flynn said. “I just tried to put it up on the top, and it went in.”

Woodson (0-4), the runner-up in the Northern Region a year ago, has been affected by injuries early this spring, was healthier Thursday night with sophomore Kaitlyn McCurdy back in the lineup, and the Cavaliers controlled possession for much of the second half. But their best chances — a rebound attempt inside the goalie box in the 50th minute and a dangerous jump-ball snatched mid-air by Patriots’ goalkeeper Sophie Frank in the 65th minute — didn’t go Woodson’s way against a Yorktown back line that has allowed just three goals this season.

“Just [tried] to keep my teammates as calm as possible, because I know if I get worked up, they get worked up also,” said Frank, who finished with five saves. “I think we did get lucky a couple times that it didn’t get in, but I think it was just keeping our composure and clearing the ball when we needed to.”

With its only setback of the spring coming in overtime against No. 3 Centreville back in the middle of March, Yorktown’s previous three wins this season have come by way of outscoring opponents 14-1. Thursday was different. It was a grind.

Flynn was taken out of the game with about eight minutes left, only to be substituted back a few minutes later. Similar to the breather she took late in the first half, it was a short reprieve before finishing off the shutout win.

“I definitely thought [tonight] was a lot more chaotic,” Flynn said. “Usually we play a game with more possession, and tonight was more just, kind of, every individual trying to win each battle.”

Related: Girls’ soccer rankings: The Post Top 10

Stats: Girls’ soccer leaders

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.

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