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Mount Vernon Comes up Empty in District Final

Majors blanked by W-L for second time this season.

Lucas Belanger's reaction after the May 20 National District soccer tournament final against Washington-Lee said it all.

"I hate to say it, but I think they just wanted it more," the Mount Vernon sophomore goalkeeper said. "They wanted it more than us and they came out here ready to play."

Co-district Player of the Year Simond Kargbo echoed his teammate's observation.

"They wanted it more," the Mount Vernon sophomore forward said. "We didn't want it."

With the district championship on the line, top-seed W-L thumped No. 2 Mount Vernon 6-0 on Friday in Arlington. The Majors fell to 13-2, with both losses coming against the Generals by a combined score of 8-0.

W-L and its superior size built a 2-0 advantage in the first 20 minutes and led 4-0 at halftime en route to the lopsided victory.

"In the end, they were just a better team," Belanger said. "Just bigger [and] faster."

During the teams' regular season meeting, a 2-0 win for W-L on April 13, the Generals took the lead in the 27th minute. On Friday, the Generals were on the board in the 14th minute and led 3-0 in the 29th minute.

"W-L, they're a fast, physical team," Mount Vernon head coach Robert Garza said. "They go over the top a lot. We talked about not sitting back and letting them come at us and that's what they did. Those first two goals [were] right over the top, like we talked. The one thing they did the first game against us was take us out of our game early: go over the top, score quick and take us out and that's what they did."

While Friday's loss was ugly for Mount Vernon, the Majors gave themselves reason for confidence headed into regionals. Mount Vernon was 13-0 against teams other than W-L, including two victories against previous four-time defending district champion Yorktown and a win over Centreville of the Concorde District. The Majors defeated Yorktown 2-0 in the district semifinals on May 18, with goals from Kargbo and Erik Rodriguez.

Last season, after losing in the district semifinals, the Majors upset Langley in overtime during the opening round of the regional tournament and took Robinson to overtime in the quarterfinals before losing by a goal.

Mount Vernon opened regionals on May 25, after the Gazette's deadline.

"We knew we could hang with the top teams," Garza said. "We've already proven that this year and even last year. ... Obviously, they're going to outsize us, but when we get into our game we have the skill and we have the speed to do it."