W.T. Woodson 20,

Albemarle 4

The W.T. Woodson girls' lacrosse team may have had a new coach and a new philosophy this season, but when it comes to winning state titles, it's still old hat for the Cavaliers.

Woodson, playing on its home field yesterday, defeated Albemarle, 20-4, to win its second straight unofficial Virginia title and its sixth overall. The Cavaliers played with such energy throughout, however, that one would have thought they were chasing their first crown.

"We were so focused on each game and coming into this year, going back-to-back, would be a lot harder because everyone knows you won it last year," senior Ashley McCulloch said.

McCulloch led the way for Woodson, which defeated Albemarle in the title game for the second straight year. The All-Met midfielder scored seven goals and dished out two assists as the Cavaliers continued under Coach Jenn Karr where they ended with her predecessor, Darah Bonham.

McCulloch was the thread linking this championship team from those of the past. A starter since freshman year, she finished her career with three unofficial state titles.

Throughout the playoffs, she carried the Cavaliers (16-1) when called upon. She scored six goals in a tight game against Lake Braddock in the Northern Region semifinals and five goals -- including the winner -- in a comeback victory over Oakton in the region final.

"[Ashley] was always a nice comfort on the sideline," Karr said. "She never stops. She's a true athlete. She's an all-around athlete but in the truest sense. She's out there to win. She's in the game mentally and physically all the time."

McCulloch had plenty of help as the Cavaliers put together one of their best all-around efforts since the start of the playoffs. Juniors Michaela Seigo and Michele White scored three goals apiece and senior Meredith Martin had a goal and two assists.

"These last couple of wins have been team wins," Karr said. "Ashley's certainly been a key to a lot of our success, but I don't think a lot of it would have happened without the support."

The Cavaliers yielded only two shots and won all but one draw in the first half as they took an 11-1 lead into halftime.

"I think we really just wanted to take it to them from the beginning," Martin said. "We wanted to score off all the draws and just gain confidence."

W.T. Woodson's Ashley McCulloch tries to break free from Albemarle's Anne Ralston, left, and Annabelle Mangan.