College Corner by Mike Stancik
(Nov. 26, 2013) – A national championship is within reach for some former Loudoun County soccer standouts.
Although former Woodgrove High School graduate Brittany Basinger (2013) and Broad Run grad Whitney Church (2011) and their Penn State team lost 1-0 to Wake ForestVirginia in the quarterfinal round ending a fantastic campaign, Stone Bridge grad Murielle Tiernan (2013), Broad Run grad Ellie Zoepfl (2011) and Loudoun Valley grad Ashley Manning (2010) are still alive in the tournament thanks to Virginia Tech’s penalty-kick victory over Santa Clara on Nov. 24.
Tiernan scored the only goal in regulation for the Hokies on a 20-yard boot in the 55th minute, and she also added the game-winning penalty-kick to give VT a 3-1 victory in the shootout. It marks the second game in a row Tiernan played a vital role in a Hokie win, as she scored the lone goal against West Virginia just two nights earlier to advance to Sunday’s contest.
Zoepfl and Manning both came in off the bench in the win. Ashburn native Kimberley Anderson, who went to Bishop O’Connell, is also a back-up keeper for the Hokies.
With 11 goals on the season, Tiernan now leads Virginia Tech in that category. There are just four teams remaining in the tournament, and next up for the Hokies will be a quarterfinal battle against ACC rival Duke at 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 in Blacksburg.
On the men’s side, Virginia defeated St. John’s, 2-0, to advance to the NCAA Round of 16. On Dec. 1 they will host Marquette. Loudoun County grad Calle Brown (2010) earned the shutout in goal for Virginia and South Riding native Patrick Foss, a home school standout (2013), made a cross in the resulted in Virginia’s first goal.
Other tidbits from the past week in college sports:
- Potomac Falls graduate Josh Hardin (2010) left William & Mary this year to join the Northern Arizona cross-country team, and it has certainly appeared to be a fantastic choice. Hardin’s squad was ranked as the number one team heading into the National Championships and he’s been a valuable runner all season long for NAU. Although Colorado was able to edge out NAU for the National Title, Hardin produced a solid performance in which he finished 75th out of more than 200 contestants. Hey, second in the country isn’t bad at all.
- A week after individually qualifying with a 4th place finish in the Southeast Regional, Loudoun County grad Thomas Curtin (2011) had another strong showing at the National Championships on Nov. 23. He was actually able to beat Hardin by six spots (69th), and was just 17 seconds away from an All-American status. (top 40) Curtin is certainly likely to return to this stage next year.
- Broad Run product Elisa Scudder (2010) saw her college career come to a close in a straight-set victory on Nov. 16, but she was recently honored with a well-deserved accolade. Scudder was named to the first-team All-Ivy League squad thanks to her dominant season that included breaking her own record for blocks in a season. (96) She also holds the career-blocks record (319) that sure doesn’t seem like it will be challenged in the near future.
- Former Loudoun Valley standout Michael Charmo (2010) also recently was awarded a well-earned accolade playing football at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Although he suffered a season-ending injury nine games into the season, the coaches of the PSAC saw enough dominant play in the trenches to garner a first-team All-PSAC selection. Charmo showed impressive versatility, starting five games at center and four at right guard. Charmo started 33 games for the Crimson Hawks during his career.
- Park View graduate Robert Hayes (2010) is another LoCo athlete that is finishing his collegiate career on a strong note. During Shepherd’s 10-0 season in which they’ve secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA playoffs, Hayes has been the leader of a defense that’s first in the country in rushing yardage allowed (45.5) and second in overall defense (248 YPG). The defensive lineman has a mightily impressive 9 sacks on the season (T-1st in conference) and has added 10 tackles for loss. His superb 2013 campaign has recently earned him the Mountain East Defensive Player of the Year award. Shepherd has a bye to open up the playoffs.