Both W.T. Woodson and McLean High Schools were winners at the Northern Region girls soccer tournament semifinals games on Wednesday, June 1, played on the turf field at James Madison High School in Vienna.
The two teams, who both clinched state playoff berths by reaching the championship game, are scheduled to meet this Friday, at 5:30 p.m., in the region title game at Madison.
Woodson defeated Chantilly High, 3-0, in Wednesday’s first semifinals game, which was played through on and off rain over the first 23 minutes of the game before skies cleared and the sun broke out. The Cavaliers, the No. 2-seed from the Patriot District, scored all of their goals in the second half following a scoreless first half. The scores came from senior midfielder Erin Havard, junior forward/midfielder Elizabeth Gaski, and freshman forward Teresa Fruchterman. Gaski’s goal — a header from close range — came off a corner kick from Havard and made the score 2-0 less than seven minutes into the half.
Havard, a few minutes earlier, had scored the game’s first goal less than four minutes into the second half when she sent a high, well-struck shot into the left side of the net from 28 yards off the right side.
Fruchterman netted the game’s final goal with 5 minutes, 30 seconds left off a breakaway in which Chantilly charging goal tender Lauren Mashinski nearly stopped the shot on a slide tackle attempt. But the ball trickled by the goalie and Fruchterman found herself with no one between herself and the goal. She caught up to the slow rolling ball and scooted it in from just in front of the goal line.
Woodson goalie Marlee Stynchula earned the win in the net for the Cavaliers.
The win puts Woodson into the finals for the first time since 2004 when the Cavaliers won both the region and state AAA crowns under then head coach Sean Burke.
Current Woodson coach Warren Williams was thrilled with his team’s latter half play versus Chantilly, the region champion two years ago.
“We got after Chantilly in the second half,” said Williams. “We talked at halftime about how we had to get the ball wide and deep.”
Woodson (13-2-3) reached the 16-team tournament finals with wins over Madison, Oakton, and now Chantilly, outscoring its opponents 7-0 over those three games.
Chantilly, with the semifinals loss, saw its season end at 10-5-2. The Chargers had beaten both Yorktown and Stone Bridge to reach the final four.
“We played amazing those first two wins,” said Chantilly senior defender Madyson Brown, of the Chargers’ 4-1 first round win over Yorktown and their 3-1 quarterfinals round win over Stone Bridge. “The loss to Woodson is disappointing. It’s my senior year and I wanted us to go further.”
Brown was named to the First Team All-Region Team as a defender. Woodson players named to the First Team were Gaski (forward), senior Danille King (midfield), and junior Jessica Ferarri (goalie). King was named Region Player of the Year. The All-Region First Team was announced following Wednesday’s first semifinals game.
IN THE SEMIFINALS NIGHTCAP GAME, McLean scored the game’s first four goals and went on to defeat the Centreville Wildcats, 4-2, on Wednesday night.
The Highlanders, this year’s Liberty District champions, got first half goals from Melissa Downey, Becca Latimer, Andrea Romness, and Kristina Bettner, whose header goal off a Romness corner made the score 4-0 with 10 minutes, 55 seconds still remaining in the first half.
Centreville broke onto the scoreboard in the final minute of the first half on a close range, straight-on header goal by Clara Logsdon off a corner kick assist from teammate Haley Yow to get the Wildcats within 4-1 at the half.
Centreville pulled within 4-2 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the contest when Logsdon, a versatile sophomore player, scored from 12 yards out off a breakaway left. The Wildcats threatened thereafter to get even closer, but could not find the net again. Earning the win in the net for McLean was Kristen Ahearn.
Centreville, the No. 2 seed from the Concorde District, finished the season 13-3. The team, which began the season 9-0, won region playoff games over Hayfield and Lake Braddock, both by 3-0 scores, to earn the semifinals date with McLean.
The Highlanders (14-3-2) reached the semis with victories over West Springfield, 2-0, and Washington-Lee, 5-1.
McLean coach Rob Bouchard, whose team lost a regular season game at Centreville, 2-1, on March 24, said his Highlanders were determined to get off to a fast start in Wednesday’s postseason meeting with Centreville.
“We just wanted to come out with intensity,” he said. “The first time we played them they stuck it to us at the beginning of the game.”
McLean players Downey (forward) and Romness (midfield) both made First Team All-Region. For Centreville, sophomore Alexandra Myers (midfield) made the team. Centreville head coach Gary Malebranche earned District Coach of the Year honors.