Hylton junior forward Shaun Krothe headed in a cross by senior Keith Williams with 26 seconds remaining in sudden-death overtime to give the top-ranked Bulldogs a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Oakton and the Virginia AAA boys soccer championship today at Old Dominion before a crowd of about 1,500.
Hylton (22-1-1) won its second consecutive state title and fourth since the Woodbridge school opened in 1992.
"I am not feeling anything right now, but I will start feeling it in a couple days," said Krothe, a reserve who estimated he played in eight games this season. "This just shows that I kept with it all season and eventually I got my break."
Hylton All-Met junior midfielder David Stokes started the game-winning play, quickly taking a 30-yard free kick by passing it to Williams on the right wing. Williams's cross curled over several Oakton players to Krothe, who headed it down sharply, bouncing it beneath sprawling Oakton goalkeeper Mike Pregnall.
The goal sent most of the Hylton players sprinting toward Krothe. While the Bulldogs mobbed their unlikely hero, the Oakton players crumpled where they stood.
The 80 minutes of regulation were a scoreless but classic struggle between Hylton's ball possession and Oakton's patient team defense. The Cougars allowed Hylton's defenders to move the ball freely among themselves but challenged any pass into midfield. Oakton senior defender Matt Friedman, meanwhile, neutralized the Bulldogs' leading scorer, senior forward Jonathan Hooker.
While standing on the goal line in the 15th minute, Friedman saved a six-yard volley by Williams. The two senior goalkeepers each made sparkling saves to keep the game deadlocked. Three minutes into the second half, Hylton senior Geraldo Hernandez got a toe on Nate Pearson's cross, but Pregnall grabbed it with his fingertips at close range.
Hylton goalkeeper Kevin Larrabee thwarted Oakton's best chance in the 46th minute when he came out to block Steve Heitkamp's nine-yard volley. After going farther in the state tournament than any boys soccer team in school history, Oakton finished 22-2-1. The Vienna school was the only team to defeat Hylton this season.
"We had a great season and we left everything on the field," Oakton All-Met senior defender Kenny Arena said.
"I personally don't think either team was better today -- they just stayed with it one more second than we did."
Hylton (22-1-1)00011Oakton (22-2-1)00000
GOALS -- Krothe 100th.
ASSISTS -- Williams, Stokes.
SHOTS -- Hylton 9; Oakton 8.
SAVES -- O: Pregnall 6; H: Larrabee 5.
CAPTION: On Friday, David Stokes, right, and Hylton defeated Chris Burgess and Kempsville in the Virginia AAA semifinals. (Photo ran in an earlier edition)
CAPTION: Luis Portillo, left, dodges Oakton's Dan Ambrosio. Shaun Krothe scored winning goal for Hylton in 100th minute.