W. Springfield 6, Langley 0
Maybe one of the most dazzling displays of footwork in West Springfield's 6-0 victory over Langley in the Virginia AAA Northern Region championship at Westfield last night came from Spartans Coach Randy May.
With a lightning-quick first step, May scrambled out of a crowd of clamoring Spartans ready to dump a bucket full of ice water on top of him after West Springfield clinched its third regional title in the past four years. After the coast was clear, May explained his motivation for dodging the time-honored tradition of champions.
"I don't want to celebrate yet," said May, who is in his fourth year as West Springfield's coach. "I don't want to celebrate until we win it all."
After a ferocious offensive display led by senior forward Nick Wagonhurst, who scored twice to raise his season total to a team-leading 14 goals, West Springfield certainly seems capable of winning it all. In the Virginia AAA quarterfinals on Tuesday, West Springfield (17-1) will host the Eastern Region runner-up (First Colonial or Indian River) while Langley will travel to face that region's champion.
Light rain fell throughout the match and continued to soak an already drenched field. The rain caused several players to slip, but the most damaging mishap hurt the Saxons (12-4-1) in the fourth minute. From 15 yards, Spartans junior forward Ben Phan drilled a shot that deflected off a Langley defender and into the right corner of the goal, past a frozen Saxons goalkeeper.
"That goal kind of killed us because it slipped off the defender, and it was kind of a fluke, and West Springfield is a tough team," Langley senior forward Jonathan Kochba said. "We just lacked that 'oomph' tonight; I don't know why we couldn't get up for it."
The Saxons, who had advanced with a draining, penalty-kick victory over Lake Braddock on Wednesday night, struggled throughout last night.
Wagonhurst scored his first goal 12 minutes after Phan's shot to make it 2-0 at halftime. But the night's best-looking goal came off a nearly 35-yard free kick from senior All-Met defender Pat Carroll in the 51st minute. The swerving kick found sophomore defender Brian Decot, who headed in the goal from 12 yards and increased the Spartans' lead to 3-0.
Wagonhurst scored again in the 56th minute, and the Spartans added two more goals in the final eight minutes. It was West Springfield's biggest margin of victory this season.
"I think we are just getting better as we get into the postseason," Wagonhurst said. "This victory says a lot."