Members of the Washington-Lee girls soccer team were already filled with joy, having accepted the National District championship plaque after beating rival Yorktown. Senior goalkeeper Emma Wolfarth took things a step further.
"They’re always trying to compete with us," Wolfarth said after the game, referencing a quote from a Yorktown player in regard to beating W-L. "Today we were like, ‘Nope.’"
Wolfarth’s remark led to laughter from her Generals teammates.
"That’s how we feel today," she said. "The answer is ‘No,’ Yorktown."
Wolfarth made several key saves and district Player of the Year Ellie Mills scored the game’s only goal as second-seeded Washington-Lee defeated No. 1 Yorktown 1-0 in the district tournament championship game on May 21 at Greenbrier Stadium. The Generals’ won their first district crown since 2002, beating a program which had dominated the competition for most of the last decade. Yorktown beat W-L in penalty kicks during last season’s district title game.
"It feels unbelievable," Wolfarth said. "There are actually no words to describe" the feeling.
The Generals took the lead early when Mills scored on an assist from Karina Irizarry in the ninth minute. Mills has tallied more than 20 goals this season, but this time, she didn’t think she’d have the opportunity to give W-L the lead.
"I got the ball and I thought that I was offside," Mills said. "I looked up and I didn’t see that the [sideline referee’s] flag was up, so I just turned and shot. I was pretty open. I was glad to put it away."
Yorktown had several opportunities to tie the game but couldn’t find the net. First-team all-district forward Suzy Gordon, who scored the only goal in the Patriots’ 1-0 regular-season win over W-L on April 14, had a pair of chances in the first four minutes of the second half, but was turned away each time by Wolfarth.
"I kind of felt like the energy wasn’t there," Gordon said. "We weren’t treating it like it was our district final. We were treating it just like it was any other game. Last game we were out to win, this game we just fell flat. … [Wolfarth] made some really good saves. I thought both of them were going to go in. She was leaping everywhere. She’s a really good goalie."
Wolfarth was a first-team all-district selection as a "wild card."
"It’s all mental," she said of the saves. "I wanted to do my best. It’s just a split-second [decision]. They have a lot of good players and today was just my day, I guess."
Third-year W-L head coach Ann Cernicek said she hopes the victory helps future Generals realize what they are capable of.
"I think when one team does win it a lot" there’s a mental hurdle to clear, Cernicek said. "Anytime you get a win, a title like this, you get a lot of confidence along with it."
Senior forward Alyse Alicandro, senior midfielder Maddy Farber and sophomore defender Vasthy Delgado were also first-team selections for W-L. Junior forward Isabel Siemon-Carome, junior defender Molly Ramey and junior midfielder Irizarry received second-team honors.
For Yorktown, senior midfielder Aidan Hitt and senior defender Logan Knowles were first-teamers, while senior midfielder Stephanie Megas and senior defender Eryn Hurley were named to the second team.