The last time Hayden wore the shirt in a game, the Warhawks won the Virginia AAA Liberty District title. In Friday’s Virginia AAA Northern Section championship game, it was Hayden who once again played the hero in a 7-6 triple-overtime win against Chantilly.
The senior all-American made 17 saves against the No. 8 Chargers, including five in the overtime periods, to stymie the potent Chantilly offense and give the Warhawks their most dramatic win yet in a Northern Section tournament run that has included three-straight one-goal victories.
“I wore it in the district final and I played well in that, so I thought I’d save it for this game. I knew we were going to be here,” Hayden said.
“I just have a will to win. This is what I was working for. I didn’t want to end my season on a sour note. I’m at a loss for words after this one.”
Hayden wasn’t the only hero Friday night for the Warhawks (16-5). There was also senior midfielder Ian Cooke, who missed the first half of the season rehabbing an anterior cruciate ligament he tore playing football in the fall and was forced to accept a spot as a role player when he rejoined the team.
It was Cooke who jump-started the Madison offense with seven minutes left to play to shrink Chantilly’s lead to 6-4, and it was Cooke who stuck the game-winner from 10 yards out, ending the game with just more than one minute left in the third overtime.
“He was our best midfielder. I honestly think if he’d been healthy, he would have been a first-team all-region guy,” Madison Coach Rich Hodge said. “For him to can the game-winner in overtime was just amazing. I couldn’t have dreamt it any better.”
Freshman Chris McLallen also delivered in a pressure situation for the Warhawks, netting the game-tying goal with just 34 seconds left in regulation. McLallen, along with Cooke and senior Kyle Mancini, were the top scorers for the Warhawks with two goals each. Senior midfielder Kyle Rowe was dominant on faceoffs for Madison, winning 16 of the 18 he took.
The victory extended the Warhawks’ winning streak to 12 games, a stretch that began after a period midway through the season in which injury-riddled Madison lost five out of six games. Since then, the Warhawks have gotten healthy and gotten hot, knocking off a Chantilly team (18-2) that hadn’t lost since March 28 and had its sights set on a second title in three seasons.
“I was just ready. I was determined to get the job done and walk off the field as a winner,” Cooke said. “Triple overtime? That’s crazy. You never hear about those.”