Centreville 3, Oakton 2
The Centreville girls' soccer team earned its second straight trip to the Virginia AAA Concorde District final thanks to a shot from midfielder Jessica Paris and a pass from her new best buddy -- the crossbar.
Paris positioned herself perfectly to knock in Emily Jukich's rebound off the crossbar in the 94th minute to lift the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 3-2 double-overtime win over Oakton last night in Vienna.
Centreville (11-2-1) will face Jefferson in Friday's final at Westfield, as the Colonials advanced with a 2-1 win over No. 3 Chantilly.
"It was great," Paris said. "The crossbar's such a good friend, and I love when I get passes off of it. . . . We had motivation all game to get to back to the district final. We had outplayed them, so we knew we had to put one in again."
It certainly didn't look like there would be a need for overtime as the Wildcats put Oakton (5-5-2) in a 2-0 first-half hole on goals by Julia Falk and Laura Rochford.
The Cougars, however, used the entire second half to get even.
Trailing 2-1 in the closing seconds of regulation, Oakton defender Lindsay Alexander served a ball toward the penalty area that was initially cleared, but there was still enough time for Kathleen Kurlie's looping shot from 25 yards to find the net and force overtime.
"That was crushing," Falk said. "But I knew we were going to come back."
Paris seemed due for goal after she had pushed a shot just wide late in regulation and was robbed on another shot from the top of the penalty area in the first overtime.
Jukich started the run that ended the game by breaking down the right side of the field and firing a shot that caromed off the crossbar. It bounced to the right foot of Paris, who sent it into the goal.
"I was sweating a little bit, but I knew she had it," Falk said. "It's emotional when you get close and you miss, but I'm glad Jessie finished that last one. It definitely showed she can do it."
Falk scored in the game's second minute with a high shot, and Rochford followed in the 24th minute with a chip from the left wing that landed in the side netting.
Oakton's Whitney Parker battled through defenders to drive a shot into the left side of the goal early in the second half to start a rally. But Paris spoiled it in overtime.
"We came back and showed some character there at the end," Oakton Coach Terry Foley said. "In sudden death you know there's going to be a chance for each team and if someone takes it, they take it. Unfortunately for us, they took it."