James River 3,
Lake Braddock 2
The only shot James River midfielder Erika Seay took all night was the one that broke Lake Braddock's heart.
Seay scored with 11 minutes 6 seconds to play in the first overtime period to give the Richmond school its first Virginia AAA title, a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Lake Braddock last night at Oakton High School.
"This is just incredible," Seay said. "This is definitely the best competition we faced all year."
Seay scored the game-winner at the end of a wild sequence. It started with Lake Braddock midfielder Nikki Saucier's breakaway, which resulted in a penalty corner instead of a shot on goal when the ball got hung up on a defender's foot. Lake Braddock failed to convert the corner, and the Rapids' defense started a quick counterattack.
Once the ball was cleared, Seay chased the ball down, eluded one defender and scored the game-winner.
"Their long hit devastated us," Saucier said. "By the time I got into the circle, it was just between me and the goalie. I was thinking, 'There is no way I cannot finish this.' I was kind of disappointed, because I would have rather had the goal than the corner."
Lake Braddock, trying to become the first Northern Region team since 1986 to win a state field hockey title, lost in the state final for the fifth time (the last came in 1998). On the same field just over a week ago, Lake Braddock (18-4) had lost the Northern Region final to No. 4 W.T. Woodson, 2-0.
"It's so annoying," said Lake Braddock forward Lindsey Daugherty, who scored both goals for the Bruins. "When it comes to the finals we just can't win, even though we want it so bad."
Lake Braddock already had lost to James River (20-2) once this season, in penalty strokes in the Herndon Invitational championship in September.
Last night, Lake Braddock took a 1-0 lead but yielded two goals in a three-minute window late in the first half. The Bruins had a chance for another goal when the score was tied at 1, but they failed to convert a penalty stroke.
The Bruins applied pressure in the second half, holding James River without a shot or penalty corner while earning nine penalty corners. Lake Braddock tied the game on its next-to-last corner of the half, with Daugherty knocking in her second goal with 3:29 to play.