The Mount Vernon boys soccer team, the No. 3 seed from the National District, upset Langley, the Liberty District’s No. 2 seed, in the opening round of the Northern Region tournament, 3-1 in overtime, on May 25 at Langley.
The teams ended regulation tied at 1 and Mount Vernon’s Dannish Decardi-Nelson scored a goal in each five-minute overtime period. Mount Vernon will travel to face Robinson, the Concorde District’s No. 1 seed, at 7 p.m. May 27.
"I can’t even put into words what this means," head coach Robert Garza said via phone after the game. "This is a huge step."
Decardi-Nelson scored the game-winner by beating a Langley defender 1-on-1 and added an insurance goal in the second overtime.
"We just came out with intensity, thinking we’re going to go in this game and win," said Decardi-Nelson, a first-team all-district selection. "We knew [the Saxons] were big boys but we came out with the mindset we were going to dominate."
Garza said the Majors had strong fan following at the game.
"The whole place erupted," after Decardi-Nelson’s first goal, Garza said. "When he scored you could hear it a mile away."
Langley went 15-0 before losing to McLean in the Liberty District tournament final. Mount Vernon won four straight games to improve to 10-2-2 before losing to Stuart in the National District semifinals.
Mount Vernon fell behind early as Langley scored in the third minute, but the Majors battled back and tied the game on a Ruben Alvarez goal 20 minutes in.
Garza praised the play of the Mount Vernon defense, including senior defender David Heller, a first-team all-district selection, and freshman goalkeeper Lucas Belanger, a first-team all-region selection.
"I heard everything about how big they were. I was a little scared," Belanger said. "After the first goal I was a little scared. [But then] I looked around the field and" they didn’t seem so big.
Nery Cruz-Lainez had two assists for Mount Vernon and Simond Kargbo had one.
— Jon Roetman
<b>Wolverines Look To Bounce Back From District Loss</b>
After recording an 11-3 record and a second-place finish in the Patriot District, the West Potomac softball team had its sights set on a rematch with South County — the only team to beat the Wolverines twice — in the district tournament championship game.
But West Potomac’s plan fell apart when the Wolverines were upset by Woodson, which handed West Potomac its other regular-season district loss, in the semifinals.
While a district championship is out of the question, West Potomac’s next challenge is traveling to face Centreville at 7 p.m. on May 28 during the opening round of the Northern Region tournament. West Potomac, the Patriot’s No. 3 seed, defeated Centreville, the Concorde’s No. 2, 3-0 during an April 21 meeting.
West Potomac senior Zannie Crowe, the Patriot District Player of the Year, said the Wolverines need to be more accountable heading into regionals.
"We really have to rely on our own skill," she said, "not look forward to the next person to get the base hit — make sure that you do your part to get a win."
Head coach Craig Maniglia said errors and nerves cost the Wolverines against Woodson.
"It’s just tough. We gave them the game," he said. "We gave up so many errors and the kids; I think they understand now if we’re going to play tight we’re not going to win. They have to go out loose and believing in themselves."
Sophomore pitcher Morgan Maniglia, a first-team all-district selection who threw a no-hitter against Lee in the opening round of the district tournament, said the Wolverines are ready to move on.
"We’re just getting ourselves mentally and physically prepared," she said. Losing to Woodson "was a heartbreak, but we’re going to pick it up."
<1b>— Jon Roetman
<b>Mount Vernon Milers</b>
The Mount Vernon Milers running club meets at 8 a.m. on Sundays. The group usually meets along the Potomac River, but the exact location is listed in an e-mail sent every Wednesday for the coming week. Distances vary but runners can expect between four and eight miles.
To join the Mount Vernon Milers, send Lee Britton an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the e-mail list.
<b>Mark Vincent Basketball Camp</b>
The Mark Vincent basketball camp will be held at Walt Whitman Middle School. First session will be held from July 12-16. Second session will be held from July 19-23. Tuition is $200 per camper. Camp hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day except on the last day; it will end at noon. Boys and girls ages 7-15 are welcomed to attend.
For information regarding summer basketball camp, e-mail email@example.com.