Bishop Ireton senior Katrina Guillou scored a pair of first-half goals Thursday to help the No. 8 Cardinals knock off top-ranked Good Counsel, 2-0, in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls’ soccer semifinal.
The Falcons — who are ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s national poll — were trying to cap their first unbeaten season since 1998 with their third straight conference tournament title.
“The girls are somewhat in shock right now,” Bishop Ireton Coach Gino Leon said. “I don’t think it has hit them yet what they have accomplished. Now we haven’t reached our goal yet, but we’re certainly on our way there.”
As Churchill prepared for overtime in Thursday’s Maryland 4A West region semifinal against Walter Johnson, Coach Haroot Hakopian let the Bulldogs know they had just survived one of their worst halves of the season. It was easier for the veteran coach to forgive that lackluster performance minutes later when freshman Kate Reese turned one of the Churchill’s few late offensive chances into an 85th-minute game-winning goal.
With the 1-0 overtime victory, the Bulldogs secured a place in their third straight region final opposite Bethesda-Chevy Chase — which beat them the past two years en route to the state title. The game will be played Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Richard Montgomery.
“Once we came into the reality that our season could be over, our heart kicked in,” Reese said. “We wanted it for the seniors. We’ve worked so hard this season, and we weren’t ready to be done.”
After a back-and-forth first half, Churchill (11-3) spent the last 40 minutes of regulation staving off one goal-scoring threat after another. Junior goalie Becca Ewell made nine saves and stopped several other opportunities by aggressively rushing off her line.
With Churchill’s top scorer, senior Jenna Cantor, slowed by an ankle injury, Reese — who also scored a goal in Tuesday’s overtime win over top-seeded Whitman — provided the offensive spark in overtime. The midfielder received a pass from junior Zoe Forster on the left side of the 18-yard box and deftly flicked a shot around the charging Walter Johnson goalie.
“I’m very happy we have her,” Hakopian said of Reese. “We said before the season that we were going to go as far as our younger players would carry us.”
Bethesda-Chevy Chase continued its quest for an unprecedented fourth consecutive state title by beating Quince Orchard, 1-0, in the nightcap.
Although the Cougars (11-5) controlled play for much of the game, Bethesda-Chevy Chase broke through on senior Hannah Levin’s 69th minute goal and held on.
After a first-half goal was disallowed, the Barons (11-3-2) didn’t muster many quality scoring chances before Levin took advantage of a failed clearing attempt and ripped in a shot from near the penalty spot.
“I think because we’ve been here before and so many people on the field tonight have been in situations like this before, it helps us keep our cool,” Levin said. “Even when things are tough, we know how to keep going.”