The Jefferson field hockey team waited patiently in the far corner of the field for Coach Teri Davis to finish her postgame remarks to reporters.
Then they pounced, taking the coach that had seen her team come up one win short of the state tournament last season to the ground in celebration after Jefferson's 3-0 win over Chantilly last night in the AAA Northern Region semifinals.
"It's very exciting," said Davis, whose team lost in overtime to eventual state champion W.T. Woodson in last year's regional semifinals. "I told the girls a few days ago that I've been a flower girl and a bridesmaid. I want a wedding this time."
The seventh-ranked Colonials (18-2) will get another chance at No. 6 Woodson (18-3-1) in today's 3 p.m. final at Oakton. The Cavaliers advanced to the state tournament for the third straight time with a 2-1 win over Annandale.
Chantilly, which took Jefferson to penalty strokes in the AAA Concorde District semifinals, finished with a record of 10-10.
Yesterday, however, Juliana Litts scored twice in the second half and sophomore defender Allie Heon powered in a shot off a penalty corner to send Jefferson to the state tournament for the first time since 1996.
"It's just so exciting that this team came together like it did," Litts said. "We didn't expect to do this well this season. It's just amazing how much heart this team has."
Woodson, the two-time defending region champions, jumped to a 2-0 lead early against Annandale (10-5) on goals by juniors Michaela Seigo and Lizl Gericke, who has scored three goals in the last two games.
Should W.T. Woodson win today, they would be only the second team to win three straight Northern Region titles. Lake Braddock won four straight from 1995 to 1998.
Slekis Wins Going Away
Forest Park junior Stefanie Slekis won her seventh race of the season, taking the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region girls' cross-country title in 19 minutes 2 seconds at Panorama Farms in Charlottesville.
Osbourn senior Charlie Swartz (16:21) was the top local boys' finisher, placing second behind E.C. Glass's Patterson Wilhelm (16:13). Colonial Forge and Brooke Point, respectively, won the boys' and girls' team titles.
The Virginia state meet is next Saturday at Great Meadow in The Plains.
Fairfax to Honor Laing
Fairfax High will name its fieldhouse after late athletic director Pat Laing, who died in March. The L. Patrick Laing Field House will be dedicated on Dec. 8, prior to the Rebels boys' basketball game against Yorktown.
Laing, who spent 34 years at Fairfax and had been athletic director since 1982, was 56 when he succumbed to a diabetic coma while checking on the school's athletic facilities.
Potomac School Cruises
Natalie Heintz, Lea Gonzalez and Katie Steele scored to lift Potomac School to a 3-0 victory over visiting Bullis and a spot in the ISL AA conference girls' soccer final. The Panthers (10-4-2) will play National Cathedral in Sunday's final. . . .
Junior goalkeeper Brailey Pare made four saves in a penalty stroke shootout and junior Caroline Koste converted two in the tiebreaker to give Episcopal a victory over host Holton-Arms in an ISL field hockey semifinal.
Staff writer Tarik El-Bashir contributed to this report.