Nico Ubide and Jason Goldstein lined up for the overtime kickoff in the D.C. State Athletic Association final and saw an opening in the defense for the first time all night. Without hesitation, the senior duo exchanged passes to knife right through midfield and toward Bell’s goal.
As Goldstein made a final touch, an errant step by a defender sent him tumbling to the turf. After the referee pointed to the penalty spot, Ubide delivered the golden goal in Washington International’s 1-0 win at Catholic University in Northeast Washington.
“There was no plan. I saw an opening, and I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to dribble,’ ” Goldstein said. “It’s about leaving it all on the field and taking chances. We kept going until we made it to the 18, and Nico finished it from there.”
Under the lights in front of a pair of vocal student sections cheering to stay warm, both teams dared to play the aggressor. Fifteen minutes into the game, Goldstein hammered a cross from close range that bounced off the hands of Bell goalkeeper Darwin Guevara and rolled toward the goal line. Washington International players leaped in premature celebration as Guevara dove to keep the ball on but not over the goal line.
With 25 minutes remaining, senior Kevin Martinez danced around Washington International’s box to earn for Bell (10-2-1) a penalty kick of its own, but the ensuing shot was high.
In last year’s final, Washington International (17-0-1) lost to St. Albans in overtime. This time around, the Red Devils did not even let the ball touch their side of the field in extra time. After scoring, Ubide took off on a celebratory sprint toward the bleachers that was one year in the making.
“We know how fragile extra time can be. We know how vulnerable it can make a team.” Ubide said. “That happened to us last year. Being able to make that whole sprint over to the fans is a dream come true. Best feeling in the world.”
St. John’s misfired on a breakaway, botched a surefire volley and helplessly watched a goal-bound shot be cleared off the line — all in the first 10 minutes of the DCSAA girls’ final. Instead of inspiring doubt, the missed opportunities added fuel to the Cadets’ attacking fire.
St. John’s relentlessly pressured Wilson’s goal from start to finish of a 6-0 win.
“We were creating so much offensively we had to get a goal offensively,” senior goalkeeper Nikki Shaffer said. “We didn’t have anything to worry about.”
St. John’s forward Maliah Morris charged at back-pedaling Wilson (14-6-2) defenders from the opening whistle to lead St. John’s attack. The sophomore opened the scoring after 13 minutes and gave the Cadets a 2-0 lead at halftime with a pin-point assist to sophomore Meaghan O’Donovan.
The Cadets had lost in the previous two DCSAA finals. In last Saturday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final, Saint John’s largely out-shot Paul VI in a frustrating 1-0 loss. Saturday night, the Cadets lifted the winners’ trophy.
“We’ve done a lot at St. John’s, so it feels good to go out with a championship. That’s something we were missing,” Ventura said.
Potomac School junior forward Jamal Thompson kept his composure in front of net to slide an equalizing goal past two defenders in the second half of Saturday night’s Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I final at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond.
But in the second overtime, St. Christopher’s finished a bouncing ball in the box to end the Panthers’ unlikely postseason run. As the 10th seed, Potomac School (11-8-3) upset Flint Hill, O’Connell and Ireton to reach the final.