What If . . . Osbourn Park had struck early?

The Osbourn Park boys' soccer team had allowed only eight goals and shut out 15 opponents entering Tuesday's Virginia AAA quarterfinal against No. 2 W.T. Woodson. With such a stout defense, the top-ranked Yellow Jackets thrived this season on scoring first and then clamping down in back.

But the Yellow Jackets didn't convert their early scoring chances Tuesday. A scoreless tie at the half ended up a 1-0 Woodson victory, and Osbourn Park's state title hopes were dashed.

"They had two good chances and scored on one of them," Osbourn Park Coach Larry Nemerow said. "I think we had more than two good chances in the first half. You've got to do more with your opportunities. Some games you need to win in the first half and that was one of those games. We had our chances in the first half, but we didn't put it in the net."

The Yellow Jackets (20-1-1) won a few games in which they trailed this season, but they were unable to come back against the Cavaliers, who packed in their midfield after scoring in the 51st minute.

All-Met defender Phil Purdy said that the Yellow Jackets had trouble adjusting to a lineup change that was implemented to contain W.T. Woodson forward Michael Lahoud, the All-Met player of the year. But the Yellow Jackets managed eight shots in the game, many of them quality opportunities.

"We got some good shots," Purdy said. "We just couldn't find a real good foot to stick one in the back of the net."


Osbourn Park's Matt Murgia, left, outjumped John Wolfe of W.T. Woodson here, but the top-ranked Yellow Jackets fell, 1-0, in a state quarterfinal.