Forest Park 1, Woodbridge 0
Forest Park defender Lindsey DiLuzio had trouble deciding if her school's girls' soccer team was fortunate to have secured the top seed in next week's Virginia AAA Cardinal District tournament or if they simply deserved it.
Regardless of merit, it was the senior's high-floating chip in the third minute of yesterday's regular season tiebreaker that helped the eighth-ranked Bruins put a sluggish finish to the season behind them and beat Woodbridge, 1-0, at Hylton.
In the last three district games, the Bruins (9-3-2) had been forced to fight back from a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes against Gar-Field and dropped a 1-0 decision to Woodbridge on Thursday that set up yesterday's showdown against the Vikings.
As the top seed, Forest Park will host Hylton when the district tournament begins on Tuesday, the same day second-seeded Woodbridge (8-7) will host Gar-Field. Yesterday's victory also earned Forest Park an automatic berth in the Northwestern Region playoffs.
"I feel fortunate that they didn't go to any other [statistical] tiebreakers," DiLuzio said. "We were all really psyched for this game when we heard we were going to play, because we've worked hard all season. We've had our ups and downs, have had to make some adjustments. We've made our adjustments and now we're ready for regionals."
DiLuzio, who said she stressed to her team before the game the importance of an early goal, took her own advice when she was left open 30 yards from the goal three minutes after kickoff. She chipped a shot into the right side of the goal.
The Vikings were an improbable opponent to force a playoff game after a 1-5 start to the season. Before yesterday, however, the Vikings had won six straight, but they know that there is still work to be done if they are going to keep the turnaround going.
"It's been a long time since we've lost, and we felt wonderful to be in this position," said Woodbridge Coach Scott Kerns, whose team reached the state semifinals last year. "Now we can't be satisfied with this. We'll be satisfied when we get a spot in the regional tournament."