Radford (June 8, 2013) – The Briar Woods High School girls soccer team punched its ticket to the VHSL AA state championship game with a 1-0 victory over Blacksburg Saturday afternoon at Radford University. The Falcons defense only allowed two shots on goal in their victory.
In the second semifinal, defending state champion Woodgrove earned their spot in the championship game with a 6-1 victory over Salem. Only one shot on goal was allowed by the Wolverines.
In fact Dulles District teams simply haven’t allowed any other schools around the state a shot at a state title and this will be the second straight year and third time in four years that the AA state final is an All-Loudoun affair.
Briar Woods and Woodgrove, which have split postseason meetings this spring with Woodgrove winning the Dulles title game, 3-0, and Briar Woods taking the Region II title contest in overtime, 1-0, will play for the state championship Sunday at Patrick D. Cupp Stadium in Radford with a noon kickoff.
The winner will bring home a sixth straight state championship to Loudoun with Broad Run winning from 2008-2011 and Woodgrove winning last season. Since the AA state tournament started in 1999 for girls soccer, Loudoun teams will have won 10 titles and made 16 state finals appearances including a team in the finals in 13 of 15 years.
In the first semifinal Saturday, Briar Woods pressured Blacksburg early, putting four shots on goal in the first half. In the 29th minute, junior foward Emma Quirk found the net when she kicked a defensive rebound into the top right corner.
Blacksburg keeper Laura Albert was able to prevent the Falcons from putting more on the board by coming up with three crucial saves.
In the second half, the Falcons defense stepped up to protect their 1-0 lead by only allowing one shot on goad from the Bruins. Blacksburg forward Ali Palmer came closest and missed just wide left on a header coming off a corner kick.
The Briar Woods offense added three more shots on goal in the second half, with two rebounding off the crossbar.
Briar woods head coach Ann Vierkorn commented on her defense, “They are only playing three in the back, but they are never alone. One will pressure the ball and the other two are covering the passing lanes. They are fantastic with their decision making.”
In the second semifinal Saturday, Woodgrove scored two goals in the first six minutes to start their game against Salem. Senior Brittany Basinger, the Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year, scored the first by heading it into the goal off a corner kick. Two minutes later, senior Ashley Bonner got her first of the game on a counterattack . Leading into the half, Bonner got her second in a near identical scenario, she was sprung by a cross from Victoria Perry, to put the Wolverines up by three.
Blacksburg got on the scoreboard with a successful penalty kick before Woodgrove’s Sarah Hardison put the Wolverines back ahead by three with another breakaway goal. Hardison outran a Salem defender and beat the goalie in a one-on-one opportunity.
At the 70 minute mark, Victoria Perry also contributed to Woodgrove’s tally county with a successful breakaway. Senior Morgaine Smith also found net with less than a minute remaining
Commenting on her team’s energy tonight, Woodgrove head coach Erin Barrett said, “They are very hungry soccer players, they would love to be able to take championship. They came today to secure that and put us in that game.”
Kyle Frazier is a graduate of Loudoun County High School in Leesburg and will cover the state finals for Viva Loudoun Sunday.