Potomac Falls 1,
Broad Run 0
Potomac Falls defender Kristina Guinter spent the majority of last night's Virginia AA Region II girls' soccer championship game against Broad Run near the midfield stripe, relentlessly attacking any ball the Spartans dared to send her way.
Guinter, part of a Panthers defense that has allowed six goals this season, and her teammates shut down all aspects of the Broad Run attack, and Potomac Falls got an early second-half goal from midfielder Claire Grubbs to defeat the Spartans, 1-0, in a steady rain last night at Broad Run.
"The heart and the desire from the defense is just amazing," Guinter said. "All we want to do is win every single ball that comes out. With the slickness of the field, we just didn't want [the ball] to bounce. We just wanted to keep the ball in possession."
Potomac Falls (19-1-2) used its aggressive defense to fuel the offense, getting several quality chances in the first half before Grubbs redirected an Ashleigh Snook corner kick into the right side of the net 12 minutes into the second half.
Panthers forward Jenna Martin, one of four seniors on the team, earned the decisive corner when she settled the ball near the top of the penalty area, turned and sent a through ball between two Spartan defenders to teammate Haley Pasko. Pasko ripped a shot to the far corner that was turned just wide and over the end line by Broad Run goalkeeper Kendra Gillgren.
"Our team has been distributing [the ball] amazing this season, and it's really starting to show right now," Martin said.
Potomac Falls will host Tabb in Tuesday's Virginia AA quarterfinals and Broad Run (18-2-2) will travel to Courtland.
Potomac Falls had many other chances to score, but was kept in check by the sterling play of the Spartans' defense and Gillgren.
Eleven minutes into the game, Martin sent a one-touch pass over the defense to Snook, whose drive was knocked away by Gillgren but rolled to the foot of Potomac Falls's Samantha Jorden. With an empty net in front of her, Jorden was thwarted by a late slide tackle from Broad Run's Olivia Klopp.
The Spartans' Jessie Cunningham cleared another ball off the goal line with just over 20 minutes to play, when Martin broke in and slid the ball by Gillgren.
But Broad Run could not generate any offense, its best opportunity coming on a long drive from defender Kimmy Moss that was deflected wide before it got near the goal.
This was the fourth meeting of the year between the two schools, with Potomac Falls holding a 2-1-1 advantage, including a win in the Dulles District championship game.
Broad Run's Kathryn Andricosky and Katie Starr were both forced to leave the game late after suffering knee injuries. Their status for the state playoffs will be determined early next week.