Washington-Lee's Alan Ochoa displayed his frustration as he continued to be called offside during Friday's National District Tournament final against Mount Vernon.
The junior forward thought he was in the clear on several occasions, only to hear the referee blow his whistle. Finally, in the 78th minute, Ochoa got his chance.
"The first one I was, but the rest I wasn't offside. I was behind the play before I ran," Ochoa said. Late in the game, "I was waiting to see if the [referee] was going to lift the flag [to call me offside] but he didn't, so I just kept going."
Ochoa scored the final goal in a 6-0 thrashing of Mount Vernon on May 20, giving W-L the district title on its home field. It was a fitting romp for a Generals team that improved to 14-1-1 while outscoring opponents 71-10.
"The numbers," W-L head coach Jimmy Carrasquillo said, "kind of speak for themselves."
The Generals led 4-0 at halftime before Josh Katz and Ochoa added goals in the second half.
"It was good to see [Ochoa] get one," Carrasquillo said. "He's a kid who's always worked hard, he's always working hard at practice, he's always there and you want to cheer for him. He's a kid that you really want to see do well. He doesn't have blazing speed to get behind defenders, but it was something that we worked on, something that I've always talked to him about: simple little cutback, aim for that far post. He got a little deflection, I think, and it went in. We're happy for him because they know how hard he's worked."
W-L took control of the contest midway through the first half when senior forward Carlos Dellagostino scored in the 14th minute and junior forward Eric Schmidt added a goal six minutes later. The Generals pulled away with goals by Keith Ricks (29th minute) and Gustavo Mariaca (40th minute) late in the first half.
"I thought it was going to be a battle until the last five minutes," Schmidt said. "This was our most focused game we've ever had. Everyone was focused and everyone was tuned in. ... We just wanted it."
Mount Vernon sophomore Simond Kargbo, the co-National District Player of the Year, had a similar observation.
"They wanted it more," he said.
Washington-Lee will host the No. 4 seed from the Concorde District, Centreville, at 7 p.m. on May 25 during the first round of the regional tournament. Carrasquillo said this W-L team compares favorably to the 2006 team that finished 15-1-2 and reached the regional quarterfinals, and has a chance to advance further into the postseason.
"These boys, their heart and their work [ethic] is incredible," Carrasquillo said. "The  team was talented and they worked hard and were they were there for each other. I guess you could say that team was a '9' and this team was a '10.' There's just a little bit more talent on this team, overall. That team, we definitely had some talent, but this team, you kind of pick your poison."
Defender Alex Salguero was named co-district Player of the Year, and forwards Luis Torres and Schmidt and midfielder Ricks earned first-team honors.
"I really do think we can get to the [regional] final," Carrasquillo said, "and not only get to the final, but really do some damage."