Buoyed by the furious comeback she had just watched her teammates complete over the Virginia AAA Liberty District game’s final 10 minutes, the junior lined up on a free position restart and fired the ball past Bulldogs goalie Shelby Stewardson, giving Madison its first lead of the second half in a 12-11 road win in Ashburn.
“I was very confident. I knew that I got this. I’ve done this millions of times in practice, and we’re gong to win it,” Kerrigan said. “There was a little pressure, but I’m very confident.”
Kerrigan’s goal was the cherry on top of a six-goal Warhawk rally from an 11-6 deficit with just less than 10 minutes to play. After struggling to develop consistent offensive pressure for much of the second half, Madison (9-1, 6-0) got the break it needed when Stewardson was forced to the sideline for two minutes after being whistled for a penalty.
With Stewardson out, Madison scored two man-advantage goals to pull to within three and begin to turn the game’s momentum against Stone Bridge (9-3, 4-2).
“That was definitely the start of the turning point from where we started getting our groove back,” Kerrigan said. “From that opportunity, that’s when we started capitalizing on everything and winning.”
Madison didn’t have to wait long for a second break from the officials, who drew the ire of both benches throughout Monday’s game. Playing with a man advantage for the final 1 minute 40 seconds, the Warhawks scored three goals, including the game-winner from Kerrigan and a game-tying goal from junior Sam Babbitt, which also came on a free position restart.
“There were some rough calls in that game,” Madison Coach Amanda Counts said. “I think that unfortunately had an impact on how things went. I’m not sure which direction, but the refs had a huge impact and that killed momentum on both sides and it just happened to fall our way.”
Kerrigan’s three goals tied her for Madison’s team high with Babbitt, who scored all of her goals in the second half. Stone Bridge junior Taylor Pascale finished with a game-high four goals.
The Warhawks, who extended their winning streak to six games, can lock up the top seed in the Liberty District tournament with a win Wednesday night against Jefferson.
“It’s definitely nice to know that we didn’t give it up tonight,” Babbitt said. “We all know that we should be the top team and the top seed. We would have been really bummed to go home having given up that spot.”