Kathy Walsh scored the winning goal for the Braddock Road Bluebells yesterday in a 1-0 victory over the Springfield Golden Eagles in the final of the three-day Washington Area Girls Soccer League Vodicka Invitational Tournament at Fort Belvoir.
The Bluebells, competing in the 15-year-old division, have defeated Springfield three of the four times they've played this year. Yesterday's competition in eight divisions was for ages 10 through 18 in the largest all-girls' tournament in the eastern United States. Teams from Canada, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts participated.
Walsh, 15, of Fairfax, scored the goal 27 minutes into the second half on a one-on-one breakaway against Eagle goalie Ellen Dexter. Walsh, who plays wing, was 10 yards out from the right side of the goal when she received a midfield pass from halfback Mary Indelicato. Springfield never really mounted a serious scoring threat.
Walsh, a sophomore at Robinson High School, is a member of her school's varsity soccer team, in addition to participating in track. "I don't know how the goal was scored," she said. "It went in, I was happy. I love my team, we're all best friends."
Friendship is an important part of the tournament, according to Walsh's father Harry, who works for the D.C. Department of Corrections. "This has been one weekend," he said. "We had two girls from one of the Canadian teams staying with us. It's been a whole weekend committed to soccer."
For most of the parents, who were huddled around the five fields yesterday, it was the same. The parents of the Bluebells yelled until they were almost hoarse. One mother thought she was going to wear out her shoes pacing back and forth. So too, was the coach, Mike LaVerghetta, who said he was just too nervous to talk with a reporter during a brief break in the play.