W.T. Woodson 3, Centreville 2
Even with two All-Met forwards in Ashley Banks and Claire Zimmeck, W.T. Woodson girls' soccer coach Sean Burke doesn't like it when his team plays high-scoring games. And that's the kind of game the Cavaliers ended up playing against Centreville in last night's Virginia AAA Northern Region championship game.
Things worked out fine for Burke and W.T. Woodson -- after a scoreless first half, there were five goals scored, but the Cavaliers got three of them, claiming the school's first Northern Region title since 1998 with a 3-2 win at Westfield.
The Cavaliers (17-0-1) will host the runner-up from the Eastern Region (either Kellam or Cox) on Tuesday at Westfield, while Centreville (15-3-1) will travel to play the Eastern Region's champion.
"We wanted to be in a game where we score a couple of goals, and they don't score at all," Burke said. "I was surprised, and just about everybody else was when the flood gates opened and balls started getting to the back of the net."
The final ball to end up in the net was a cross by Crystal Thune that was intended for Zimmeck cutting to the goal, but instead banked in off a Centreville defender in the 61st minute.
"I'll take it, a goal is a goal," Thune said. "In this [rainy] weather anything can happen. The ball could have like flown three different ways and gone into the goal. But it went and we got our regional title."
But for the second straight game, the Cavaliers certainly had to fight to get it. On Wednesday, W.T. Woodson survived an extended shootout with defending state champion Lake Braddock, only to return last night and win a second-half battle of offenses firing at full power.
Laura Rochford scored to put the Wildcats, making their first regional title game appearance, ahead 1-0 in the 48th minute. W.T. Woodson's Ashley Wellner and Zimmeck responded with goals less than a minute apart to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead.
Centreville All-Met midfielder Jessica Paris tied the game at 2 in the 57th minute when she broke in behind the defense.
Thune's cross led to the second straight painful playoff defeat for the Wildcats against W.T. Woodson. The Cavaliers beat Centreville in sudden-death overtime in last year's regional quarterfinals. Unlike the loss last season, last night's didn't bring Centreville's season to an end -- a fact the Wildcats are very aware of.
"I don't think anybody's disappointed with this, because we played our hearts out and we were there the whole time," Paris said. "It just didn't go our way, but this is the furthest we've gotten, so we just want to keep making history."