RICHMOND, MAY 30 -- It may have been anticlimactic, but for Lake Braddock's girls it was the culmination of a dream season.
Lake Braddock, following a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Woodbridge in the state soccer semifinals Friday, easily defeated Maury of Norfolk, 3-0, tonight to win the Virginia AAA girls soccer championship at Douglas Freeman High School.
In the boys final, Kempsville, from Virginia Beach, became the first school from outside the Northern and Northwest regions to win a state soccer final. The Chiefs upset Robinson, 2-0.
With the victory, Lake Braddock (20-0) became the first soccer team to go undefeated and win a Virginia state championship.
"It is simply done," said Lake Braddock Coach Carolyn Rice. "I knew the time would come when they could not withstand our attack."
Maury's pregame fear of Lake Braddock's potential firepower on restarts materialized as the Bruins scored their first two goals on those plays. The final score wasn't indicative of the Bruins' domination. When Colette Cunningham's corner kick curved inside the near post for the first goal three minutes into the game, Maury had not yet crossed midfield.
The Commodores, who were outshot by 14-1 in the half, 32-1 for the game, didn't cross midfield until more than six minutes into the contest. Maury, which finished the season 14-1-1, didn't get a shot on goal until 20 minutes into the first half.
Maury, which outscored league opponents by 98-0 in seven regular season games, was no match for Lake Braddock's midfield of Cunningham, Emily Rice and Karen Jenkins. They controlled the flow of the game and kept the ball in Maury's zone. But the Bruins, despite their offensive onslaught, found most of their shots sailing high, wide or into the arms of Anne Taflambas, who finished with 15 saves.
Meanwhile, Lake Braddock goalie Anne Rippe, who left the Woodbridge game with an injured right hand, played the majority of the game with little worry of increased injury. Rippe only touched the ball three times in the first half and, when she was pulled with 12:41 remaining in the game, she had handled five balls, all on kickbacks.
Maury's scouting report warned Lake Braddock "is most dangerous on restarts" and that the Bruins could "throw the ball a country mile." Although throw-ins were not a vital factor in the game, it was the Bruins' restarts that ultimately eliminated the Commodores. After Cunningham's goal gave Lake Braddock a 1-0 halftime lead, Jenkins headed in Rice's corner kick with 24:50 remaining in the game. Rice finished the scoring with a 12-yard header inside the right post.
In the boys game, Robinson sat frozen on the sidelines as the seconds ticked down. No one on this team had expected to lose.
But the Rams picked the wrong game to go scoreless. Not since early in the season in a rain-shortened 0-0 tie with West Springfield had Robinson failed to score a goal.
And Kempsville, which had extraordinary performances from goalie Tony Faticoni and sweeper Jason Kahara, scored early and withstood a barrage of Rams shots on goal.
"It seemed like there were balls flying at me every time I looked up," said Faticoni, also goalie on the state's under-19 team. "But I knew if they got one goal, they'd be all pumped up. I knew I had to keep the shutout."
Kempsville (15-2-1) scored 3:41 into the game as forward Troy Paris took a header from Jon McKay and slid the ball to the right of goalie Justin Kuzemka. The Chiefs added another goal at 57:32 as Brian Curran headed in a free kick from Bill Kerry.
The Rams (16-3-2) outshot Kempsville, 25-9. But the shots were either an inch high or wide, or the Rams found Faticoni making acrobatic diving saves to shut down every threat.
"We just didn't make our connections," said Steve Baumann, who started on the all-senior squad. "We prepared for this game for three years. Unfortunately, we fell one game short."