Semifinals on Tuesday
Broad Run at Western Albemarle, 5
Salem at Loudoun Valley, 6
Final on Thursday
Semifinal winners at higher seed
Who You Know
Loudoun Valley has successfully navigated the Dulles District portion of its schedule, winning all 15 games on its way to the regular season and tournament titles. The Vikings have few, if any, weak spots, but their most talented group may be at midfield. Sophomores J.D. Harkey, Tom Schonder and Ben Semmes are three reasons why Loudoun Valley will be good beyond this year.
Likewise, it's hard for opposing defenses to determine which Broad Run player to focus on stopping. Attackmen Easton Rogers and Evan Morgan and midfielder Kevin Kobell have combined for more than 120 goals, and Rogers and Morgan each have 20-plus assists. Their ability to control possession in the offensive third of the field could determine how successful the Spartans are this week. "It's important to possess the ball and slow it down," Broad Run Coach Phil Truiett said. "We have to take our time on offense."
Who You Should Know
Salem's Tyler Hale had three goals as the Spartans earned a spot in the region tournament with an 8-7 victory over Charlottesville on Thursday.
Salem, better known for winning three straight state football championships (1998-2000), was a sub-.500 team a year ago.
Who Should Win
Western Albemarle has played the most challenging schedule of the four teams, losing twice to the Invitational Lacrosse Tournament Division II champion Covenant and dropping games against Charlottesville-area private school powers Woodberry Forest and St. Anne's-Belfield. Western Albemarle has won seven games in a row, and the Warriors' offense runs through attackman Devin Catlin.
Who Could Win
The Dulles District representatives have to be considered the dark horses, if for no other reason than Dulles teams have not won a game in the Region II tournament. Still, the experience and close calls Loudoun Valley has gotten the past few years -- the Vikings twice lost narrowly to Western Albemarle -- could be a benefit.
The same can be said for the fact that if the Vikings win Tuesday, they will host the region final Thursday. "That's a ton of incentive," Loudoun Valley Coach Bill Schoeb said. "We're looking forward to the challenge, and it's great to play at home."
-- DREW VANESSELSTYN