The St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes boys soccer team’s recipe for an upset included a defensive-minded strategy, outstanding play from goalkeeper Ryon Huddleston and plenty of luck. Head coach Bo Amato compared the Saints’ performance on Monday against rival Episcopal and its 63-game winning streak to the movie "Miracle on Ice." However one describes the Saints’ effort was enough to snap the Maroon’s unbeaten streak.
After playing to a scoreless tie through two overtime periods, SSSAS defeated Episcopal on penalty kicks. Alex Rossello, Parker Patterson and Taylor Jackson each made their respective attempts during the shootout and each time an Episcopal player followed with a miss. The victory advanced SSSAS to the state semifinals against Paul VI.
During the teams’ two regular season meetings, SSSAS bunched their players back on the defensive end of the field in an attempt to neutralize Episcopal’s talent advantage. The Saints lost 1-0 and 2-0, respectively. Before Monday’s game, Amato talked to his team about using the same strategy, except this time, he said, the team bought into the idea. Amato said he respects Episcopal head coach Rick Wilcox and he feels bad about having to use the defensive strategy that he did, but the Saints had no other choice.
"It was a very negative way for us to play football," Amato said, "but if we tried to play any other way, I don’t think we would have been successful."
Amato said praised his team for hustling.
"You make your own luck from working hard," he said. "Every time they had a shot at a goal a red shirt wasn’t far away, challenging. … Those boys sacrificed their bodies on every header. Whether they could get the ball or not, they went up."
Amato also said goalkeeper Huddleston had a terrific game.
"I think he’s the best goalkeeper, by a mile, in the state," Amato said. "He needs a big center back to help him on crosses, but he claims balls at their highest point. … You can write a comic strip about his goalkeeping heroics."
<b>Titans Compete at X-Country Regionals</b>
The T.C. Williams girls cross country team competed at the Northern Region championship meet on Nov. 4 at Burke Lake Park, placing 12th out of 16 teams with 316 points. Lake Braddock won the event with 71 points.
Sydney Schaedel was TC’s top finisher, placing 28th with a time of 19:03.5. Adugna Desalegn finished 36th (19:20.6), Lisa Toledo was 88th (20:52.2), Kathryn Hendley finished 92nd (20:58.5) and Grace Garrahan was 96th (21:08.6).
In the boys race, TC’s Darren Foreman finished 26th with a time of 16:16.40.
<b>Lil’ Titans Youth Flag Football Begins Season</b>
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Sports Office began its inaugural Lil’ Titans flag football season on Oct. 17 at the George Washington Middle School athletic fields. The Lil' Titans program has 72 girls and boys, between the ages of 5 and 6 years old participating in this developmental program. Each of the six teams (Titans - Gold, Yellow, Black, Red, White and Blue), will play a five-game season on Saturdays through Nov. 13 at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. For a schedule of the games, visit www.alexandriava.gov/recreation or call the Youth Sports Office at 703-746-5402.
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is currently seeking volunteers to coach youth Basketball, Cheerleading, Baseball and Softball. Criminal history background checks are required. Interested persons should call the Youth Sports Office at 703-746-5402 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
<b>Youth Basketball Registration</b>
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is currently accepting registrations for the Winter Youth Basketball League for boys and girls ages 7 - 17. Registration fee is $30 per child and is available to city residents only. Registration deadline is Nov. 15. Registration forms are available at all neighborhood recreation centers, public libraries and the Department of Recreation Administrative office. For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/recreation or call the Youth Sports Office at 703-746-5402.
<b>MVHS 5K Moved to Nov. 20</b>
The Mount Vernon High School 5K Turkey Trot and Wellness Walk will take place on Nov. 20 rain or shine. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. General registration fee is $35. Teachers or students with a valid ID card can participate for $25. The race begins at the Rock entrance of MVHS. The race benefits the MVHS Cares Emergency Fun, to help provide education-related assistance and incentives for MVHS students.
<b>Running Club on Sundays</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.