Wilson 2, Bell Multicultural 1
Wilson senior Keegan Riseling had been the backup goalkeeper the last two years, waiting for his opportunity to carry the Tigers to a championship.
Riseling had six saves, including two diving stops in the second half on shots by Bell Multicultural's Marcus Price, to key a 2-1 victory in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title game yesterday at RFK Auxiliary Field.
"That first save I made in the second half, when Marcus came up, it was actually what I had been waiting for all game," Riseling said. "I wanted my chance."
While Riseling carried the defense, junior David Rosenbaum and sophomore Muhammad Abdul-Ali scored goals as Wilson (13-0-4) regained the championship from Bell. The Tigers finished undefeated for the first time in school history and earned their 11th city title in the last 15 years.
Bell (10-2) got a late goal from Price but was denied its fifth title.
"We wanted this [championship] back, and we really wanted to keep our undefeated season intact," Rosenbaum said.
On a cold, gusty morning in Northeast Washington, both teams struggled to control the ball when it got in the air, but Rosenbaum took care of that problem on his goal in the 25th minute. He faked two defenders, then made a 10-yard shot that hugged the ground as it rolled between the goalkeeper and the left post.
"I wanted to drive the ball low," Rosenbaum said. "If you kicked it too high, the ball could go anywhere."
Ten minutes into the second half, Wilson added to its lead when Abdul-Ali took a pass from junior Josh Hoffman to score his first goal of the season.
The two goals were enough to withstand the play of the skillful Price, the league's leading scorer who scored twice in last year's championship game victory over Wilson. Price had one shot that hit the left post, one shot that hit the crossbar and two that were stopped by a diving Riseling.
Price finally got his 24th and final goal of the season on a breakaway in the 78th minute, but the Griffins -- who were called offside more than a dozen times -- did not get off another shot.
"This could have been anyone's game," Bell Coach Victor Molina said. "We just weren't able to capitalize when we got the chance."