Good Counsel freshman forward Vicki Anagnostopolous includes fake-out moves as part of her regular practice regimen and she is not afraid to use them in games. With an impressive display of those moves, Anagnostopolous scored in the 56th minute of the No. 4 Falcons' 1-0 victory over No. 2 Paul VI Catholic yesterday in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls' soccer semifinal in Fairfax.
Getting the ball to the right of the net, Anagnostopolous calmly fooled two defenders with several pump fakes, then turned around and rifled a 15-yard shot into the upper part of the goal as Good Counsel clinched another spot in the WCAC title game.
"I always work on that, and I use it all the time in the game," Anagnostopolous said. "It's just very exciting to score a big goal, especially since I'm just a freshman."
Good Counsel will play No. 5 O'Connell in the league final Thursday at 5 p.m. at Paul VI. O'Connell beat Bishop Ireton, 6-0, in the other semifinal game at Tuckahoe Park in Arlington. The Falcons (9-1-1) have won the past four league championships and have not lost a WCAC tournament game since O'Connell beat them in the 1997 semifinals. In September, then-No. 2 Good Counsel won the only regular season meeting against then-No. 1 O'Connell on a late goal.
"It's going to be fun," Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno said. "Right now, they're playing as well as any team in the area."
Anagnostopolous's goal, as well as five big saves by junior goalkeeper Catie Hellmuth during the game's final 15 minutes, allowed Good Counsel to overcome a late push by Paul VI.
The Panthers (8-2-1) began the year unranked but climbed to No. 2 after a second-place finish at the elite McDonogh Invitational in September and a Nov. 4 win over Good Counsel. That 2-1 defeat is the Falcons' only loss of the year.
"That was a loss that never should have happened," Hellmuth said. "We were definitely looking forward to this game."
A focused O'Connell squad dominated from start to finish against Bishop Ireton. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Dabbanigno scored two goals, and sophomores L.B. Puglisi, Kerry Philbin and Lauren Kelly and senior Katie Hogwood added one goal apiece for the Knights (13-2).
Last year, O'Connell was the WCAC's top seed but lost in the semifinal to Ireton, 1-0. Yesterday, the top-seeded Knights had three goals in the first 20 minutes.
"I wouldn't say revenge was on their mind," O'Connell Coach Alberto Starace said. "I think they just didn't want a repeat of what happened last year."