Down his top two kickoff options, Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy naturally summoned the Olney private school’s most decorated soccer player for a tryout in the week leading up to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final. When senior Midge Purce showed up to the practice field wearing jeans and boots for that Tuesday practice, the state’s winningest football coach sent her out to kick anyway.
“I was just going to tell him that I could [tryout], and he wanted me to kick” right away, said Purce, the 2011 All-Met fall girls’ soccer player of the year. “I was like ‘Oh my goodness. What if I do awful?’ ”
Purce couldn’t quite muster the height or distance necessary for a conventional kickoff, but with a few days of work in more conventional attire, she showed the power and accuracy Milloy was looking for when she set the ball sideways on the tee and squib kicked it.
With junior Alessandro Burlew out of town at a club soccer tournament and senior Brendan Marshall unable to kick because of a knee injury, Milloy planned to use Purce in the final against DeMatha until finding out on Friday of that week, just before she was to be fitted for a uniform, that league rules made it too late to add a new player to the Falcons roster.
“I was disappointed,” said Milloy, who hadn’t had a girl attempt to try out for one of his teams since the early 1980s when he was at Springbrook. “She’s a wonderful kid, lights up the whole room whenever she walks in, and to be honest, I knew she was the best available option for what I needed done. It just didn’t work out.”
While Purce had to settle for being a spectator as the school’s nationally-ranked football team won its fourth straight WCAC title, the lightning-quick forward accomplished plenty in her final fall on campus.
In addition to representing the United States at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan, Purce led Good Counsel (16-1-2) to its third WCAC title in four years and the No. 1 spot in The Post’s final rankings for the second straight season. The Harvard commit scored 27 goals in 15 games, including two in the WCAC final against No. 2 O’Connell, to finish her high school career with a school-record 101 goals.
“I’m very blessed,” Purce said. “I’ve had a lot of experiences and opportunities through soccer that have just been phenomenal. I thought [kicking for the football team] was going to be a really fun one. I was excited to try it.”
Good Counsel finishes atop the poll for the second straight season buoyed by its third WCAC title in four years. River Hill junior Callie Allen scored the game-winning overtime goal in a 2-1 victory over C.M. Wright that finished a perfect season for the Hawks with their eighth state title. South River ended Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s bid for a fifth straight state title, beating the Barons in penalty kicks in the Maryland 4A final. Spalding also needed a shootout to win its fourth IAAM-A title, topping McDonogh to complete a comeback victory.
1. Good Counsel (16-1-2) LW: 1
2. O’Connell (14-2-2) LW: 2
3. River Hill (19-0) LW: 4
4. Spalding (15-3-3) LW: 5
5. Holy Cross (13-2-1) LW: 3
6. South River (18-2) LW: 7
7. National Cathedral (16-2-2) LW: 10
8. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (13-4) LW: NR
9. Sherwood (14-2) LW: NR
10. Sidwell Friends (16-4) LW: 6
Also considered: Arundel (16-2), Whitman (12-3), Georgetown Visitation (11-6-2)
Related: Area-wide statistical leaders