The Washington Post

Girls’ soccer: Briar Woods focuses on solidarity, not star power

Despite leading Briar Woods girls’ soccer team with seven goals, by no means does McKensey Ziegler see herself as the Falcons’ top player. Neither does second-leading scorer Emma Quirk nor starting goalkeeper Tori Riopelle, who has 32 saves. For the No. 5 Falcons, it’s solidarity, not star power that has catapulted them to a 6-0 start.

“Our team chemistry is strong because we’re not worrying about who the star is,” said Ziegler, who has a team-high seven goals. “We’ve worked on getting to know each other well on the field and to know each other’s skillsets. We know each other’s strengths, so we can play off the ball well and be in the right position to make plays.”

With this strong connection, the Falcons have defeated Virginia AAA runner-up Broad Run and AA state champ Woodgrove, whom they lost to in the district and region playoffs last season.

“The Woodgrove game was big because we went in knowing that was a game we wanted to win no matter what,” Ziegler said. “We’d never beat them before, so to be able to do that was a big step.”

Quirk, who assisted on one of the Falcons’ two goals that night, followed the with a career-high four goals the following night in a win over Loudoun Valley. The junior forward is one of 10 players to score for the Falcons, who have just two seniors on their roster.

“Nobody tries to do it alone. Whether it’s offensively or defensively, they are all there for each other and that’s helped has have great movement off the ball and defend in numbers very well,” Falcons Coach Ann Vierkorn said. “McKensey is really coming into her own, following shots and pressuring the ball high. And with Emma, she’s relentless if the ball is anywhere near the goal. Those two give us a really strong force up front, along with the effort of everyone else.”

Kriner continues to produce for Saxons

Despite playing defender, Langley’s Kady Kriner leads the area with 14 goals (based on stats reported to Post). The senior netted five goals in Monday’s win against Edison, leaving her one short of the school-record six she recorded in the season opener.

Kriner’s outputs are two of several prolific performances during the early portion of the spring season. Centreville’s Clara Logsdon, who also splits time on defense, scored six goals in a March 18 win against T.C. Williams, tying Kriner in the VHSL record book for the second-most goals in a game. Dominion freshman Breanna Mitchell has twice scored four goals in a contest.

The Post Top 10

After outscoring its first four opponents, 13-3, top-ranked Stone Bridge has battled to 1-1 ties against No. 4 Chantilly and South Lakes in two of its last three games. . . . Westfield’s last three wins have come against teams ranked in the Post Top 10 at some point this season, including Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Centreville. . . . In its four wins, Forest Park is averaging nearly seven goals per game.

1. Stone Bridge (5-0-2) LW: 1

2. Westfield (7-0) LW; 4

3. Battlefield (6-1 ) LW: 5

4. Chantilly (5-1-1) LW: 6

5. Briar Woods (6-0) LW: 7

6. Centreville (7-1) LW: 3

7. Yorktown (4-1) LW: 8

8. Robinson (5-2-1) LW: 2

9. Forest Park (4-2-1) LW: 9

10. Loudoun County (4-0-1) LW: 10

Bubble: Patriot 5-0-1, Woodbridge 6-1, Woodgrove 5-2

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.



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