Although the two teams never met in the regular season, when Osbourn Park scrimmaged West Springfield in the preseason, the Yellow Jackets were manhandled in a 4-0 loss.
Osbourn Park didn't forget that meeting. And last night at Woodbridge, the Yellow Jackets proved they are a much improved team as they shut out West Springfield, 1-0, in a rainy Virginia state boys soccer semifinal.
Osbourn Park (17-0) will play Cox at 4 p.m. today at Woodbridge in the final. Ross Johnson scored both goals to lead Cox of Virginia Beach (14-0-1) to a 2-0 semifinal victory over Midlothian of Richmond (13-5-1).
"This is incredible," said Osbourn Park All-Met striker Jessie Skipwith. "Their coach said they handed us our lunch when they beat us earlier. You can tell him tonight we gave it back."
Osbourn Park, which threatened but was never able to score in the first half, broke the scoreless tie at 51:19 as Skipwith headed Jason Burwitz's throw-in past West Springfield All-Met goalkeeper Jim Stern.
West Springfield stepped up its offense in the second half, but Osbourn Park goalkeeper Danny Murphy was in good position to stop the Spartans' seven shots.
"We didn't play smart tonight," said West Springfield All-Met coach of the year Dennis Patrick. "We didn't play it to the outside the way we should. And when we finally did, their keeper was there to stop us."
West Springfield, which finished the year 13-2-3, was outshot in the second half, 9-7.
Although neither team pieced together a first-half scoring combination, Osbourn Park dominated the Spartans. The Yellow Jackets were consistently deep in Spartan territory.
West Springfield, which was outshot by 5-1 in the first half, didn't get its first shot on goal until 8:30 remained. Although the Spartans' offense was sluggish, West Springfield's fullback combination of Brett Walker, John Stumpf, Mike Young and Mark Burgin shut down Osbourn Park.