McGaughey passed upfield to senior Bella Holloman then watched the ball follow the path she had already traced in her mind. Holloman dribbled in from the right side, drawing the opposing goalie toward her, then pushed the ball across the circle to junior Hannah Abele, who buried it in the cage for the second goal of Langley’s 4-1 state championship victory against Kellam at South County High in Lorton.
The Saxons controlled the flow of the game almost from the outset, so the rest of the contest felt much like the play unfurling in front of McGaughey: the Saxons’ first state title win no longer a hope but a foreseeable conclusion.
Langley (20-1-1) drew the first scoring chances but could not convert. Then Kellam (17-5) responded with three penalty corners in 70 seconds, their best offensive opportunities of the first half.
“When we were put on the defensive there, rather than thinking, ‘We can’t give up a goal,’ we were looking for ways to get up the field,” McGaughey said. “It wasn’t about stopping their scoring so much as, ‘We want to score. Let’s do it.’ ”
The Saxons cleared the ball from their circle, moved upfield and received a penalty corner opportunity of their own. Maddie McGaughey took a shot off the corner that bounced over the Kellam goalie’s foot and into the goal to give her team a 1-0 advantage nine minutes into the game. Later in the first half, Abele’s breakaway goal put Langley ahead 2-0.
In the second half, Langley senior Aly Trumbull knocked in a rebound of a McGaughey shot to extend the Saxons’ lead. While Kellam got on the scoreboard with 10 minutes remaining, Abele responded a minute later with another goal to put the game away.
As time wound down, a Kellam defender knocked Holloman to the turf. McGaughey jogged over, helped Holloman up and slung her arm around her teammate’s shoulders.
Last season, McGaughey, Holloman and the rest of their class carried a senior-less Langley team to the state semifinals but fell short of a title. In their senior season, they secured the championship.
“Our seniors have been the heart of this team, and today you saw the culmination of that,” Langley Coach Katie Robinson said. “Everyone feeds off their energy and their intensity. So to have their career end with a championship, that’s really special.”