Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the Potomac Falls girls' soccer team's loss to Courtland in the Virginia AA state quarterfinals is that the 2004 state champions did not play particularly poorly.
Fourth-ranked Potomac Falls took 24 shots, many skillfully created off crisp passing and quickness. But only one went in, and in the meantime, Courtland capitalized. After the teams played to a 1-1 tie through 100 minutes in Tuesday night's game, the visiting Cougars won the shootout, 5-3.
"We struggled sometimes throughout the year to put it in the net," said Coach Kris Kelican. "We'd outplay teams and get good opportunities but not score. Eventually we knew we were going to make a comeback, but today, we just couldn't do it."
In a frustrating game on a steamy evening in Sterling, the Panthers (13-3-3) had several opportunities to score, but too often the shots missed by short distances. In overtime Potomac Falls had the ball on offense for nearly the entire 20 minutes but never scored.
Senior All-Met Lauren Malan had a pair of point-blank shots over two minutes that hit the crossbar of the football goalposts, just over the goal itself.
Then, on the final play of the game, Malan got an uncontested breakaway, but Cougars goalkeeper Kerri Butler made the save.
"I couldn't really say what happened," said senior Kristina Guinter, who scored the Panthers' goal in the 36th minute. "We had the chances, but for some reason we couldn't get one in."
Courtland (16-5-3) became the first Region I team to win a state quarterfinal, scoring the first goal of the game in the 14th minute. Freshman Lauren McCoy got open for a shot, but goalie Kathryn Baumgarden made the save. Moments later, McCoy got open again and scored.
The Panthers took 10 shots before scoring their first goal, with Guinter taking a free kick from 22 yards and rifling it into the upper right corner of the net.
In the round of penalty kicks, Courtland made its first shot, and Potomac Falls missed its first. After that, the teams traded goals until Courtland completed its fifth in a row to win the game.
Stone Bridge Girls Win
Mary Jo Loos scored twice to lead the ninth-ranked Stone Bridge girls' soccer team to the state semifinals with a 3-0 victory over Tabb in Yorktown on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs will play Cave Spring, which beat Abingdon, 2-1, in another quarterfinal, tomorrow at noon at Radford University.