Potomac Falls 3, Broad Run 1
The biggest breaks and bounces went the way of Hayley Pasko and the Potomac Falls girls' soccer team last night in the Virginia AA Dulles District championship game.
Pasko's redirection of a free kick in the 68th minute gave the seventh-ranked Panthers the lead for good in their 3-1 victory over fifth-ranked Broad Run at Heritage.
On the heels of its first loss of the season, Broad Run (16-1-1) will still host the second-seed from the Jefferson District when the Region II tournament begins Monday. The Panthers (16-1-2), which avenged their only loss of the season, will travel to face Charlottesville in their first-round game.
With the score tied at 1, the Panthers were awarded a free kick from about 30 yards from the box that Pasko deflected on one big hop and into the goal.
"Our main focus was obviously finishing," Pasko said. "Any time the ball was bouncing we had at least two, three, four people there to hopefully knock it in and get a good touch."
The first two Potomac Falls goals weren't the strongest of shots -- Pasko's goal was the second header to catch Broad Run's defense out of position.
Midfielder Claire Grubbs hit a soft header on a first-half corner kick that trickled into the net to make it 1-0. But the Panthers, who have had trouble finishing all season and had not scored against Broad Run in two previous meetings, had few complaints.
"We didn't have as many chances as we did in the first two games, but we put more away than we did," Potomac Falls Coach Kris Kelican said. "That doesn't make much sense, but we did.
"I'll take anything. I mean really. Did we really have something to do with it and drive it? No. . . . The header was pretty tough to defend, and the second one we were around it. The third one was a great shot."
Ashleigh Snook sent a left-footed blast high into the net in the 73rd minute to give the Panthers the insurance goal they needed to ensure a more convincing win over Broad Run.
Freshman Brianna Smith scored to tie the game for the Spartans in the 51st minute with a high shot inside the penalty area to the far post. However, Broad Run couldn't capitalize on the few mistakes made by a stingy Potomac Falls defense -- especially a first-half header off the crossbar that would have given the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
"It's frustrating to see those kind of goals go in, but those can go both ways," Broad Run forward Liz Frank said. "That [missed chance] kind of got me going because I thought we had the momentum. Now that the game's over, I really wish we could have put that in."