W.T. Woodson seniors Abe Thompson and Clarence Goodson lit up the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Region I championships that ended yesterday in Providence, R.I. The pair, playing for the under-17 Braddock Road Warhawks, scored 14 goals in five matches, including one apiece in a 3-1 win over North Stars of western Pennsylvania in the final.
Yesterday's victory gave the Warhawks their first regional title after finishing second and third the past two seasons. It also qualified them for the USYSA national championships in Orlando July 19-25. They will be the first boys team from Virginia to represent the Northeast since 1995.
Braddock Road marched through the opening rounds of the tournament, winning its four matches against other state champions by a combined score of 22-1.
Thompson, a forward, opened the scoring in the final about 30 minutes in, and the Warhawks maintained the 1-0 advantage into halftime.
"Thompson ended up with the ball at the top of the box with three guys on him, and he just went through them one by one," said Warhawks Coach Gene Mishalow. "By the time he got to the penalty spot, he just had to push it past the goalie."
U.S. under-17 national teamer Thompson struck again 15 minutes into the second half, touching a pass across the face of the goal for Zane Hill of Woodbridge to finish. Goodson, who missed last season at Woodson after transferring from Annandale, completed the scoring on a breakaway. It was his eighth goal of the competition.
"This team has really matured," Mishalow said. "They're patient on the ball, they build from the back, they all contribute. We just get better as we go forward, and we give Abe just about the best supporting lineup you can give him to make him what he is." . . .
Bethesda Soccer Club scored a hat trick of titles in the younger age groups. The under-15 girls Fury, the under-14 girls Dragons and the under-14 boys Arsenal all won their respective Region I championships yesterday.
Nine area players, including All-Met forward Michael Nissim-Sabat of Chancellor, will attend Mary Washington University in the fall. Coach Roy Gordon said this is one of the strongest Northern Virginia recruiting classes he has seen.
Joining Nissim-Sabat will be Jamie Scully, a second-team All-Met forward, and defender Ashton Cole -- both from Virginia AA Region B champion Handley. Woodbridge forward Paul Stepanick, an all-Cardinal District selection, also has committed to the Fredericksburg college.
Defenders Scott Golay (Osbourn), Matt Heimerle (Centreville), Justin Donnelly (McLean), forward Sebastian Ferdinand (The Heights) and goalkeeper John Daubert (Osbourn) will also try out for the team.
As a Division III non-scholarship program, no player is guaranteed a spot on the Mary Washington roster, but Gordon believes several of the players who have committed this year could make immediate contributions. The team finished 8-11 last year, disappointing in comparison to the 1997 season, when the Eagles advanced to the national semifinals. It was the first time in the eight-year history of the Capitol Athletic Conference that Mary Washington did not win the league title in men's soccer.
"Last year was a bit of a downer, but this year presents a real good opportunity for younger players," Gordon said. "The last few years we haven't had too many kids from Northern Virginia, but we are particularly pleased with this group."
Odds and Ends
Massaponax junior defender Kelvin Jones, a second-team All-Met selection, has been named to the U.S. U-17 national team. . . .
Girls soccer will make its debut at the 28th annual Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star games in Hampton next week. The girls will play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Darling Stadium followed by the boys all-star game at 8 p.m. . . .
West Springfield defender Jeff Scudder has committed to play football at Hargrave Military Academy. Scudder, who began punting and place kicking last summer, also hopes to play basketball there.