Following last week’s overtime thriller against Falls Church, Hayfield Coach Dan Drickey called his group a “team of destiny.” On Monday night, at least for another game, the Falcons looked the part, beating Yorktown 3-2 in overtime after senior Kelvin Centeno finished off a cross for his 12th goal of the year.
It was the third overtime result in as many games for the Hawks (10-0-1), who rallied to beat Washington-Lee 4-2 in overtime early last week, and followed that with another comeback against Falls Church, when Centeno nailed a penalty kick with just over two minutes remaining to help preserve the team’s unbeaten record.
“We need to win these games by multiple goals,” Centeno said, “and not last minute, you know, hanging on.”
After winning just five games in its last two seasons, Hayfield’s revival is much more than three magical, late-season finishes. Drickey, now in his seventh year, said the team underwent a “mentality change” in the offseason. Part of the shift was on the offensive end, where the Hawks learned not to sit idle and watch an offensively gifted player shoulder the load (which would be easy to do with Centeno, who is headed to Old Dominion next year). Another part of the culture change was winning new supporters from within the Alexandria school, Drickey said.
“All of the sudden we’ve found some success, and it’s been huge,” Drickey said. “I mean I’m in the building, and kids are asking me, [kids] who I’ve barely ever spoken to, ‘Coach are we still undefeated? Are we still undefeated?’ Not is the team still undefeated, but are we still undefeated.”
Drickey added that the crowds at the last few homes games have been the largest since 2003, the last time his team won a district title (the Hawks played in the Patriot District that season).
Those crowds have watched a team that has grown to use every type of player at its disposal. Centeno is a stellar scorer, and he’s netted four goals in the last three games. Drickey is unafraid to play freshman and sophomores, especially when he needs a spark. The team’s second leading scorer is freshman midfielder Ryan Donoghue, who Drickey said has been in the “right place at the right time” on a number of shots this year (Donoghue scored two goals Monday in the win over Yorktown), and sophomore keeper Kevin Arrellano has posted four clean sheets this year. Arrellano has 17 saves in the last three games.
“We don’t have any real standout players. I’ve got a bunch of guys that do their job well, that are comfortable doing their job,” Drickey said. “For us to have our second leading scorer be a freshman outside midfielder right now — It’s still really hard to wrap my head around it.”
On Thursday against Mount Vernon, Hayfield has the chance to clinch the top seed in the National District and earn a trip to the Northern Region tournament for the first time in what Drickey calls “a very long time.”
Centeno’s goal on Monday helped Hayfield double its win total from the past two seasons, two long years that seem like a lifetime ago for the senior forward and his team.
“It’s a lot different,” Centeno said. “Sometimes the result is there, sometimes it isn’t. But thank God most of the time it’s been there for us.”
Daniel Helms scored two goals and added an assist to lead Oakton to a 6-2 win over Yorktown Tuesday. The Cougars have scored 11 goals in its last two games. . . . South Lakes freshman goalkeeper T.J. Bush got his second career start Tuesday against Madison, registering five saves in the Seahawks 2-0 win. It was the 10th straight victory for South Lakes, which also got a goal from Maryland commit Suliaman Dainkeh. . . . Lake Braddock’s Stephen Durbin scored his 11th goal of the season in the Bruins 2-2 draw against Annandale Tuesday. . . . Broad Run, which won seven games all of last season, enters the rankings having won six of seven. That includes Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Patriot, where sophomore midfielder Sammy Sergi posted two goals and an assist.
1. Oakton (10-0-2) LW: 1
2. South Lakes (10-1) LW: 3
3. Lake Braddock (7-0-4) LW: 2
4. Tuscarora (Va.) (10-0-2) LW: 4
5. Herndon (7-1-3) LW: 5
6. W.T. Woodson (8-2) LW: 7
7. Hayfield (10-0-1) LW: 8
8. T.C. Williams (8-2-2) LW: 6
9. Osbourn Park (7-2-2) LW: 10
10. Broad Run (9-1-3) LW: NR
Dropped Out: No. 9 Langley (7-3-1)
(Records through Tuesday)