Forest Park Bruins (7-4-5)
How they qualified: Cardinal District tournament runners-up.
What's next: At Cedar Run District champion Osbourn Park in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 7 p.m. Monday. The teams tied, 2-2, in their lone meeting this season, on March 30.
Last region appearance: 2003 (lost to Culpeper, 1-0, in Northwestern Region championship).
District recap: The Bruins hit the post in their 1-0 loss to Gar-Field in the Cardinal championship Friday, which in some ways has been indicative of their season. "That's been our thing all year -- every one of the games we've hit the post at least two or three times," Coach Ken Krieger said. "I don't know whether or not it's a magnet in the ball or just something that pings off it for one reason or another." The Bruins could not get behind Gar-Field's defense even as well as they did in earlier 1-0 and 2-1 losses to the Indians. Krieger thought Gar-Field's first-half goal could have been thwarted by better communication around the net.
Gar-Field Indians (9-5-2)
How they qualified: Cardinal District regular season and tournament champions.
What's next: At home vs. Cedar Run District runner-up Potomac in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 7:30 Monday. The teams split during the regular season, with Potomac winning 3-2 on March 30 and Gar-Field winning 2-1 on May 4.
Last region appearance: 1999 (lost to Hylton in Northwestern Region semifinals).
District recap: Before the 1-0 district final win over Forest Park -- Gar-Field's eighth straight victory and third straight shutout -- junior midfielder Darrien Ruggles and his teammates joked about scoring goals off "toe blows" as opposed to making solid contact with the tops of their feet. "We have trouble getting shots off," said Ruggles, whose toe blow goal in the 29th minute proved to be the game-winner. "We were saying, 'If you get an opening, hit a toe blow, hit a toe blow.' It was pretty lucky, but you take what you can get." Coach Tom Kraft, a 1994 Gar-Field graduate who never played on a district championship team, certainly will take it. "Knocking in one and being able to hold it against a great team like Forest Park -- that really demonstrates a lot for our defense," said Kraft, who is in his first year as head coach; he guided most of his players during a three-year stint as junior varsity coach. "Nobody expected us to be here at the beginning of the year." Sophomores defenders John Painter and Irvin Martinez keyed the shutout.
Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets (13-1-3)
How they qualified: Cedar Run District regular season and tournament champions.
What's next: At home vs. Cardinal District runner-up Forest Park in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 7 p.m. Monday. The teams met once this season, a 2-2 tie on March 30.
Last region appearance: 2003 (lost to Forest Park, 3-0, in Northwestern Region quarterfinals).
District recap: Senior midfielder Ryan Jenkins's penalty kick in the 82nd minute Thursday night gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 overtime victory over Potomac, the team's third one-goal victory over the Panthers this season. Offensively, moving senior Andrew Dykstra from goal to forward has paid off: He has four goals and four assists in the past nine games and, more importantly, has opened things up for senior forward Nick Leigh, who has scored all but one of his team-leading nine goals since Dykstra's switch. The defense, led by Radford-bound senior Chris Pertl, has posted eight shutouts and is giving up less than a goal per game.
Potomac Panthers (11-5-2)
How they qualified: Cedar Run District tournament runners-up.
What's next: At Cardinal District champion Gar-Field in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 7:30 p.m. Monday. Potomac beat Gar-Field, 3-2, on March 30 but lost the rematch, 2-1, on May 4.
Last region appearance: First appearance.
District recap: In making the first region appearance in the school's 25-year history, Potomac has relied heavily on the scoring of senior forward Douglas Boateng (17 goals, 6 assists) and the defense of senior Richard Avalos, sophomore Matt Phillips and senior Mohamed Kamara. The Panthers are healthy, but not deep, with only 17 players on the roster. Still, Coach Mel Klugh said, Potomac is confident heading into the quarterfinals. "We are fortunate because we've had opportunities to play these teams before," Klugh said of Forest Park and Gar-Field. "It's not a question of whether we are afraid or nervous, we are ready to play either team."
Forest Park Bruins (10-4-2)
How they qualified: Cardinal District regular season champions.
What's next: At Commonwealth District champion North Stafford in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 6 p.m. Monday.
Last region appearance: 2003 (Beat Woodbridge, 5-1, in Northwestern Region championship).
District recap: The Bruins continued their recent string of inconsistent play with Friday's 1-0 home loss to Gar-Field in the district final. Forest Park, which needed to win a one-game playoff over Woodbridge to win the regular season title, still needs a scorer to emerge up front, considering that last season's 20-goal scorer, senior Kim Bonilla, is likely to miss Monday's game with an ankle injury. "It's so frustrating out there sometimes," said Forest Park senior defender Lindsey DiLuzio, who hit the crossbar twice with long shots in the first half. "We just need to all work together."
Gar-Field Indians (9-5-2)
How they qualified: Cardinal District tournament champions.
What's next: At home vs. Commonwealth District runner-up Colonial Forge in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 5:30 Monday.
Last region appearance: 1995.
District recap: Late-season losses to Forest Park and Woodbridge kept the Indians from winning the regular season district title. Gar-Field, however, was resilient, putting together a burst in the district tournament with a 3-1 win over Woodbridge in the semifinals and a 1-0 triumph at Forest Park to win claim Gar-Field's first district tournament title in 11 years. Junior forward Shawn Wickham scored the game's only goal in the 56th minute. "It's incredible. The kids are ecstatic, I'm ecstatic. We've never been here before," said Gar-Field Coach Michelle McDonald, who earlier this season saw her team surrender a 2-0 lead with five minutes to play against Forest Park. "That last five minutes [Friday] couldn't go fast enough. . . . I couldn't stop watching the clock, that was very scary."
Osbourn Eagles (7-10-1)
How they qualified: Cedar Run District regular season champions.
What's next: At Western Valley District champion, Patrick Henry-Roanoke or Franklin County, in Northwestern Region quarterfinals, 4 p.m. Monday. Osbourn defeated Franklin County, 2-0, in the second game of the season.
Last region appearance: 2003 (tied Woodbridge, 1-1, but lost in penalty kicks, 3-1, in Northwestern Region quarterfinals.)
District recap: The Eagles relied on their defense and outstanding play from junior goalie Lauren Fenner to claim the regular season district title. Osbourn had allowed just one goal in the four games leading up to the district tournament final, a 3-2 loss to Stonewall Jackson. Junior Jenny Racine has scored seven goals this season to lead the Eagles offense, which is starting to hit its stride by scoring two or more goals in three of its past four games.
Stonewall Jackson Raiders (8-3-5)
How they qualified: Cedar Run District tournament champions.
What's next: At home vs. Western Valley District runner-up, Patrick Henry-Roanoke or Franklin County, in a Northwestern Region quarterfinal, 4 p.m. Monday.
Last region appearance: 2002 (lost to Hylton, 4-1, in Northwestern Region quarterfinals).
District recap: The Raiders have seen their fortunes change dramatically since they started the season 1-3-3. Since a 2-1 loss to Osbourn on April 20, Stonewall has gone on a 6-0-2 run that includes two wins over the regular season champion Eagles. The most recent of the two came Thursday, a 3-2 victory that gave the Raiders their second district title in three years. Standout junior forward Janna Pearson continues to be the catalyst for the Stonewall offense, with 11 goals and six assists. She scored two goals against Osbourn Park in the district semifinal, and assisted on two Jenn Vaughan goals in the final.
Brentsville Tigers (16-2-1)
How they qualified: Northwestern District tournament champions.
What's next: At Valley District regular season champion Turner Ashby in Region II quarterfinals, 6 p.m. Monday.
Last region appearance: 2003 (tied George Mason, 1-1, but lost in penalty kicks, 4-1, in Region B final)
District recap: An impressive Virginia AA debut for the Tigers, who won the Virginia A title last year and captured the Northwestern District tournament crown on Thursday. However, because Region II rewards regular season champions with home games, the Tigers will open region play on the road; district foe Fauquier opens at home. Wherever they play, expect the Tigers to score, especially sophomore forwards Stephanie Hair and Caly Cassady, who have combined for 44 goals and 15 assists this season. "If we do score, we score regularly," Brentsville Coach Chris Gibbs said. "It's gong to take a good, strong, athletic team, like Fauquier, to beat us." Brentsville's only losses this season were to Sherando and Fauquier.
-- Preston Williams, Will Toussaint and Ashton Williams