W.T. Woodson 2,
Being on the field seemed hazardous for W.T. Woodson field hockey player Lauren Montgomery this week. She was hit in the head by a ball Monday night -- requiring more than 30 stitches -- and played with painful blisters on her feet.
But when the senior midfielder was called upon to play in the seven-on-seven overtime period of yesterday's Virginia AAA Northern Region final against No. 7 Jefferson, she ended the pain -- and the game -- quickly, giving the No. 6 Cavaliers a 2-1, sudden-death win in Oakton.
"She had a tough week," Cavaliers Coach Andy Muir said of Montgomery, whose game-winner was her first goal of the season. "She obviously wasn't comfortable running out there tonight. When it came into overtime she gave me this look of, 'If you want me to [play] I will, but I don't want to.' "
At least Montgomery was able to get it over with quickly. The Cavaliers took advantage of a foul with a speedy restart by Northern Region player of the year Ashley McCulloch, who crossed the ball. Montgomery picked up the cross and sent a quick shot into the left corner of the cage, ending the contest 1 minute 3 seconds into overtime.
"Coach Muir said my name to go in, and I was just 'Oh man,' [because] I'm tired," Montgomery said. "Ashley just put the quick ball in. I saw it coming across and just hit it in the corner."
The win gave W.T. Woodson (19-3-1) its third straight Northern Region title, the first school to accomplish that since Lake Braddock won four straight from 1995 to '98.
Both teams had already qualified for the state tournament, but neither faces an easy road. In the quarterfinals, the defending state champion Cavaliers play 13-time state champion Frank W. Cox of Virginia Beach at 3 p.m. Thursday in Virginia Beach. The Colonials (18-3) play last year's state runner-up and Eastern Region champion Princess Anne, also of Virginia Beach, at 1 p.m. on the same day.
Jefferson, which lost to W.T. Woodson in overtime in last season's region semifinals, had its chances early, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by forward Marisa Paska. However, that lead didn't hold until halftime, as Michaela Seigo scored with 14:43 left in the first half.