RADFORD, Va. — For the first 10 minutes after the Woodgrove girls’ soccer team beat Loudoun County 3-0 on Saturday for the Virginia AA title, junior Brittany Basinger enjoyed the full championship experience, hugging teammates, waiting patiently for her individual medal and posing for pictures with the team trophy.
But with her happy team continuing to linger on the track surrounding the field at Radford University, Basinger excused herself and headed for the exit: She had a plane to catch. A member of the U.S. under-17 national team, Basinger received special permission to arrive late for a training camp in Chula Vista, Calif., to play with her high school squad.
In Saturday’s final, senior Katie Beebe and juniors Victoria Perry and Sarah Hardison scored and the Wolverines posted their 15th shutout of the season. After helping the second-year Purcellville school claim its first title and finish an undefeated season, Basinger planned to head to Dulles International Airport for a 5 p.m. flight to join the national team.
“I love this team,” Basinger said. “They’re my best friends. I would not be able to live with myself if I let them down.”
A day after a dominating 3-0 semifinal victory over previously unbeaten Blacksburg, Woodgrove (24-0-1) wasn’t quite as sharp offensively, but still managed to control play en route to their fifth victory of the season against Loudoun County (18-5-2).
Perry put the Wolverines in front when she ran onto a long ball from junior Ashley Bonner and flicked a shot around the goalkeeper for the 17th-minute score.
Woodgrove added a pair of second-half insurance goals: Beebe buried a free kick from the top of the 18-yard box in the 53rd minute and Hardison scored off a feed from Bonner 14 minutes later.
Loudoun County hung tough but couldn’t crack the net on junior goalkeeper Maggie Buxton (three saves).
The Raiders suffered all of its losses to Woodgrove this season, including setbacks in the Dulles District, Region II and state finals, and only managed one goal in those games.
Basinger, who missed 11 games this spring because of national team duty, played a major role in shutting down Loudoun County’s attack from her right fullback position, saving a shot off the goal line late in the game to preserve the shutout.
“When we didn’t have [Basinger] to play with us, we came together closer as a team knowing we had to work that much harder,” Hardison said. “With her here, it’s somewhat of a relief. It would have been totally different if she didn’t get to share the moment with us.”