The only thing more impressive than West Springfield's Nicole Blume's goals today were her creative celebrations. Blume, a sophomore midfielder, scored the game's only two goals as No. 2 West Springfield defeated No. 1 Robinson, 2-0, in the Virginia AAA soccer championship game at Old Dominion University.
West Springfield (20-1-0) won its fifth state title this decade but first for new coach John Kenny. The Spartans also won titles in 1991, '92, '93 and '95.
Robinson (19-3-0) lost in a state final for the first time. All of the Rams' three losses this season have been to West Springfield. The Fairfax school defeated West Springfield, 3-2, in their last meeting, at the Northern Region final.
"I believe the revenge factor is a big motivator," Robinson Coach Jim Rike said. "We ruined a perfect season for them and they were not going to let us do it again."
Blume was once again spectacular in the midfield for the Spartans, scoring the game's opening goal with 12 minutes 24 seconds remaining in the first half.
Senior midfielder Jennifer Grillo slotted a ball between two Robinson defenders and Blume beat them to the ball on the left side of the penalty box. The sophomore then took one dribble and with her left foot beat diving All-Met sophomore goalkeeper Kim Bonafede, shooting the ball into the right side of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Blume then pulled her shirt over her head and ran with her arms outstretched to celebrate the goal.
"Nicole has been playing out of her mind since the regional tournament," Kenny said.
The second goal was very similar with sophomore forward Casey McCluskey playing the ball into space on the left side of the penalty box. Blume again beat a Robinson defender to the ball and with the outside of her right foot, flicked the ball over Bonafede, hitting the underside of the crossbar and falling into the net for the 2-0 advantage with 17:23 remaining.
After she scored, Blume slid on her stomach and started in a swimming motion. "You have to think of something new every time," Blume said.
Robinson senior midfielder-forward Lindsey Rosen, who entered with 12 goals and 11 assists, reinjured her left hamstring. She left 5:35 into the game.
West Springfield (20-1-0)112Robinson (19-3-0)000
GOALS -- Blume, 20th, 63rd.
ASSISTS -- Grillo, McCluskey.
SHOTS -- W. Springfield 10; Robinson 3.
SAVES -- WS: Lear, 3; R: Bonafede 6.