Despite having the most prolific offense in the Washington area, Woodbridge had no answers against West Springfield's top-rated defense.
The No. 2 Vikings, who had scored 98 goals coming into the game, managed only one goal in a 2-1 loss to the Spartans last night in a Virginia AAA state girls soccer quarterfinal at Woodbridge. Woodbridge suffered its first loss of the season and finished 18-1-2. No. 1 West Springfield improved to 18-1-0.
"We did not do particularly well in the [penalty] box," Woodbridge Coach Mike Yeatts said. "I would have liked to see us get some earlier serves."
A big blow to the Woodbridge attack happened with 17 minutes left in the game when All-Met junior forward Ann Weaver (15 goals, 15 assists) strained her right quad and could not return to the game.
Even before Weaver's injury, however, Woodbridge's attack struggled. One problem for Woodbridge was that much of the game was played in its half of the field because the Vikings defense had trouble containing the speedy duo of junior forward Lauren Vanni and sophomore forward Casey McCluskey.
"They were just beating us all over," Woodbridge goalkeeper Liz Dittamo said of Vanni, who scored the Spartans' first goal, and McCluskey. "It seems like in the big games we play we just can't finalize. We should be proud of ourselves and how far we got."
Hylton junior midfielder Tommy Giraldi was a starter for almost the entire regular season, but Coach Ken Krieger relegated him to a reserve role just before the Cardinal District tournament. Last night, Giraldi made his first start since then count by setting up the Bulldogs' first two goals in a 4-0 victory over visiting W.T. Woodson in a state quarterfinal.
Yet while Giraldi doubled his season total for assists, it was his defense that most pleased him and Krieger.
"My defensive play hasn't been what it should be this season, and that's why I wasn't playing as much," Giraldi said. "Tonight I took care of things defensively first, and then the offensive contributions fell into place."
Giraldi chipped a delicate pass into the penalty area in the 33rd minute, and Hylton senior forward Jonathan Hooker settled it and scored the first of his three goals in the game. Giraldi's cross in the 47th minute from the right wing found Hooker at the far post for six-yard header and a 2-0 lead.
Stonewall Jackson's first appearance in the Virginia AAA state tournament ended yesterday with a 6-0 loss at Langley. The Cardinal District regular season and tournament champion finishes the season 17-2.
"We're a little disappointed," Raiders Coach Mepes Johnson said. "By the same token, we're pleased we got that far."
CAPTION: West Springfield's Nicole Blume, right, jostles for ball against Elizabeth Mumley of Woodbridge, which lost for first time.