First-year Madison coach Eduardo Lima said that one of the most important principles he has taught the Warhawks this season is "to believe they can play with anyone."
Lima certainly found evidence that his advice is working when the Warhawks defeated No. 9 Langley, 4-3, on Wednesday in a Virginia AAA Liberty District semifinal. The victory came after Langley defeated Madison, 6-1, in April.
Madison started the scoring with junior midfielder Chris Werner's penalty-kick goal midway through the first half, and the Warhawks led 4-0 at halftime.
"I was surprised by the way we got up on them in the first half," said Lima, whose Warhawks (8-3-2) will face W.T. Woodson in tonight's district championship game. "But I think the kids were more worried about what Langley would do in the second half."
The players' concern seemed well-founded when Saxons leading scorer Jonathan Kochba started a three-goal spurt in the second half.
"I haven't really ever seen a game like that," said Langley's 25-year coach, Bob Murray, who said he will end his run as the longest tenured coach in the Northern Region after this season. "We had some trouble in the first half, but I'm proud of us digging ourselves out of a hole."
-- Will Toussaint