Goalkeeper Jim Miller dove to his left to block Tony Riente's sudden-death penalty kick and give host Lake Braddock an insurmountable 4-3 lead and a 2-1 victory over W.T. Woodson last night in a Virginia AAA Northern District soccer game.
The defending state champion Bruins got goals from Tommy Nicholson, Doug Bradley, John Elliott and Kevin Trizna to take the lead in the best-of-five shootout. A goal by Riente would have tied the score, but Miller blocked the lower-right-side drive.
"I stopped the ball with my face," said the 6-foot-4 Miller, who got a bloody nose from the shot. "Penalty kicks are a tough way to end the game. They are very hard on goalkeepers."
Lake Braddock, coming off a 3-2 loss to Oakton Monday night, raised its record to 2-1 in the district, 4-1 overall. Woodson also is 2-1, 4-1.
Woodson, playing with a strong tailwind in the first half, took a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game on a redirection shot by Luis Prieto. Woodson forward Shawn Ritchie had sent a low cross into the box that Prieto volleyed off the crossbar and into the goal.
The Bruins tied the score 10 minutes later on Nicholson's third goal of the year, off a rebound of a shot by midfielder Bradley.
The key to Lake Braddock's victory was the play of fullback Rich Larance. Assigned to shadow Ritchie, one of the area's dominant players, Larance was able to keep Ritchie from turning with the ball or getting off many dangerous shots.