As Kevin Hilton walked off the turf at Robinson following Sunday’s Virginia 6A final, the Battlefield girls’ soccer coach was asked if he wanted to pack up the trophy that he and his team had just won following a nailbiting shootout victory against Centreville.
“No, I think I’ll hang onto this for at least tonight,” Hilton said with a laugh, firmly clutching the oversized wooden plaque. “I’ve got to savor this a little bit.”
In the three previous seasons, the Bobcats had qualified for the state tournament, each time drawing closer to their ultimate goal but always coming up just short. It nearly happened again on Sunday, when Centreville valiantly jousted with Battlefield through four overtime periods and six rounds of penalty kicks. But this time, the Bobcats would not be denied, as they emerged with a 4-3 shootout victory, their first perfect season and The Post’s No. 1 spring girls’ soccer ranking for the second consecutive year.
“As it starts to sink in more, you appreciate how it happened, just the perseverance and how the players willed their way to the championship,” Hilton said. “We thought we could do that last year with how we found a way to win in some of those close games, but it didn’t work out. With it being our fourth consecutive trip to states, we felt we were due to win that trophy.”
The Bobcats’ journey to the top was a convincing one highlighted by 21 wins, their fourth straight region title and a 100-11 scoring margin. Battlefield’s juggernaut offense was paced by two-time All-Met forward Colleen Gawkins (area-high 33 goals), All-Met midfielder Karina Lacey and second-team All-Met midfielder Becca Callison, who netted the decisive penalty kick in Sunday’s title game.
“To come so close last season and then set the goal at the beginning of this year to finally earn the state title, it’s an amazing accomplishment,” Gawkins said. “And then to go undefeated on top of that; wow, words just can’t describe it.”
After winning its second straight region title, Briar Woods earned its first 5A state championship with a 2-1 win against crosstown rival Stone Bridge. . . . Behind freshman Breanna Mitchell’s 27 goals, Dominion won its first region and 4A state crowns. . . . Centreville reached the state final despite posting a regular season record of 4-7. . . . En route to winning its seventh straight state title, George Mason posted its first undefeated season in that stretch.
1. Battlefield (21-0) LW: 1
2. Briar Woods (16-2-1) LW: 2
3. Stone Bridge (17-5-1) LW: 7
4. Dominion (21-5-1) LW: NR
5. Centreville (9-10) LW: NR
6. Osbourn Park (13-5) LW: 8
7. Chantilly (15-4) LW: 10
8. Lake Braddock (13-6) LW: NR
9. Tuscarora (12-2-3) LW: 3
10. George Mason (24-0) LW: NR