This is the third and final part of a 3-part series by Viva Loudoun looking at the 2012-13 high school sports season:
(July 2, 2013) – Woodgrove girls soccer claimed the only state title in the spring but several other Loudoun schools came oh so close including both the Woodgrove and Stone Bridge softball teams, finishing state runner-up, as did the Briar Woods boys tennis team.
Woodgrove’s 2-0 win over Briar Woods in the girls soccer state finals at Radford capped a postseason for Woodgrove (20-5-1) that erased memories of an up-and-down regular season.
Briar Woods (19-5-1) won the Dulles District regular season and beat Woodgrove, 1-0, in overtime in the Region II girls championship game. Woodgrove, however, led by the trio of seniors forward Sarah Hardison, midfielder Basinger and goalie Maggie Buxton, put it all together in the state tournament, out-scoring teams 11-1.
It was an All-Loudoun Region II finals as Briar Woods took home both titles – the girls winning on McKensey Ziegler’s dramatic “golden goal” in the third overtime – and the Falcon boys erasing a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat Tuscarora, 2-1.
Both Tuscarora, last year’s AA state runner-up, and Briar Woods advanced to the boys semifinals but after a day’s delay to weather, both teams fell at Radford with Briar Woods beaten by E.C. Glass, 1-0, and Tuscarora by Blacksburg, 4-0.
Briar Woods and Tuscarora had shown a flair for the dramatic in their run to States, as the Falcons beat Western Albemarle on the road in penalty kicks, 6-5, in the regional quarterfinals and Tuscarora beat Sherando in overtime, 1-0, in the regional semifinals.
Tuscarora (21-2-2), led by senior forward Angel Ceron-Garcia the district Player of the Year, went unbeaten in the regular season, claiming the Dulles District regular-season and tournament titles.
Briar Woods (16-7-1), led by junior Collin Verfurth, may have won its first regional title but the surprise team of the year was Potomac Falls. The Panthers, just a year after not even qualifying for the district tournament, finished second in the regular season and advanced to the Region II quarterfinals where they fell at Tuscarora, 2-0.
The Park View boys pulled off a run to the regional semifinals before losing at Briar Woods.
In AAA, the Broad Run (14-5-3) boys started the season slowly but led by senior Mike Margulis and Cullen Hunter, won the Cedar Run District championship and made it to the AAA state quarterfinals.
The heartbreak of the soccer season came on the girls side as Stone Bridge (17-1-2), ranked as one of the top teams all year in the D.C. area, fell to Yorktown in the Northern Region semifinals. The game was tied, 1-1, when the Stone Bridge keeper went down in a collision that resulted in a broken bone in her leg.
Yorktown ended up winning the game in overtime, ending the brilliant career of Stone Bridge seniors Ashley Herndon, with more than 100 goals scored, and Murielle Tiernan, named the Washington Post’s All Met Player of the Year.
In baseball, Woodgrove had a magical run to the state semifinals. Led by sophomore pitcher Kaleb Bowman, the Wolverines survived an early season roster shake-up that saw 10 players leave the team and the remaining team of four juniors, 10 sophomores and seven freshman banded together for an improbable run.
Woodgrove (18-8) clinched its state tournament appearance when Bowman (South Carolina recruit) threw a 3-hitter at Dulles District champion Potomac Falls (20-5) in the Region II semfinals.
The Wolverines dream season continued in the state quarterfinals when they beat Warhill on the road in 12 innings. Bowman threw the max nine innings in the win, allowing just one run on four hits. Colin Reid’s two-out single secured the win for Woodgrove in the 12th.
Woodgrove’s 12-inning win and Bowman’s clutch pitching performance was nothing on Loudoun Valley senior Danny White who pitched a perfect game in the Region II quarterfinals at Sherando before having to exit the scoreless game. Sherando went on to win on a walk-off home run in the 13th inning.
Potomac Falls, led by pitcher James Pearson and shortstop Brandon Orbe, was the class of the area for most of the season, claiming the Dulles District yet again.
In AAA, Stone Bridge was led by super sophomore pitching J.B. Buskauskas (North Carolina Recruit), who is already rewriting the Bulldogs season and career strikeout records.
In softball, both Woodgrove (26-3) and Stone Bridge (28-2) fell in the state finals.
Woodgrove, making its third AA state finals appearance in three years since opening, couldn’t defend its state title, losing to Cave Spring, 9-3.
Stone Bridge’s bid for a first ever AAA state title fell just short at the Bulldogs lost to Great Bridge, 10-9. Down by eight runs in the fifth inning, Stone Bridge fought back and had the game’s tying run on second base with out in the seventh inning when a line drive was turned into a title-clinching double play.
The Bulldogs were led by senior Niki Prince, who clobbered 12 home runs and was named the Northern Region Player of the Year.
The Wolverines were led by all-region players, catcher Rachel Harris, infielder Alayna Furr and outfielder Mackenzie Moler.
Both Stone Bridge and Woodgrove captured regional and district titles with the Wolverines winning a third straight Region II title with a 6-0 win at Powhatan.
The Bulldogs finished the season with more than 300 runs crossing the plate and their only two losses were to private power O’Connell in the regular-season and then in the state finals.
Both Briar Woods and Loudoun County were top four in the Dulles District regular season but fell in the Region II quarterfinals.
Broad Run, which made a AAA state tournament run in 2012, fell in the Northwest Region first round.
In boys lacrosse, Loudoun County (16-1) made an undefeated regular season run and won the Dulles District tournament title in a 7-6 thriller over Dominion, with senior Jacob Ayers netting the game winner with less than two minutes to play.
The Raiders, however, went down to Woodgrove (11-8) in the AA Northern Region sectional semifinals. It was still a magical year for the Raiders who were led by the district’s co-Players of the Year, Sean Rogers and Michael Rexrode. Dominion, Dulles runner-up, then beat Woodgrove for the sectional title and the Titans (15-6) weren’t done there as they knocked off AAA Broad Run (11-8) in the state quarterfinals to advance to the VHSL open tournament Final Four.
The speedy Titan squad was led by Trevor Royce, Jack Flynn and Brett Bushman.
Madison finally ended Dominion’s run, 9-4, in the state semifinals.
The Woodgrove boys, trying to follow up their big win that end Loudoun County’s season, almost knocked off unbeaten Battlefield in the state quarterfinals but the Wolverines lost, 12-11.
The Woodgrove girls were the class of the Dulles District, winning the regular-season and district tournament titles, as well as winning another sectional title. The Wolverines were led by lights out goalie, senior Bailey Carver, named the district’s Player of the Year, along with Olivia Becker and Morgan Miller.
Woodgrove (17-3), however, was surprised at home by Osbourn Park in the state quarterfinals.
On that same afternoon, a gutsy Loudoun Valley girls team (17-5) which had fallen to Woodgrove by just one goal in the sectional finals, upset AAA Battlefield, 13-9, behind the play of junior Corley Simons on the road to advance to the Final Four. Langley ended the Vikings state title dreams, 12-4.
The Stone Bridge girls (12-5), with a non-district win over Woodgrove in the regular season, could lay claim to being the top area team before the playoffs but the Bulldogs went down in the Northern Sectional quarterfinals.
On the boys side, Stone Bridge senior Dylan Maltz, named to the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic South roster, finished up his brilliant career and his next stop will be to play at national powerhouse Syracuse alongside his brother Derek.
In tennis, local athletes did well in team play as well as singles and doubles, especially on the boys side.
Freedom senior Alex Cragg advanced to the tough AAA state tournament in singles and in doubles with partner, sophomore Brian Park. In AA, Loudoun County sophomore Jack McLister won the Region II title and made it to the state Final Four.
The surprise was the Briar Woods boys tennis team, which did not advance any singles or doubles players in postseason, but as a team, made it all the way to the state finals before falling to E.C. Glass, ending a 21-2 season. The Falcons should be tough next year with five of six starters returning.
The Freedom boys made it to the AAA state tournament for the second straight year, despite losing their top player from the 2012 season.
Briar Woods boys took the Dulles title with an unbeaten record and McLister claimed the singles title and teamed with Bill Bouweiri to win the doubles title.
In the Cedar Run District, the Broad Run boys won the regular-season title but Freedom beat the Spartans in the district tournament finals.
On the girls side, Freedom went 17-2 and won the Cedar Run District regular-season as well as the tournament.
In the Dulles District, Dominion edged Briar Woods, 5-4, to take the regular season title but the Falcons turned the tables on the Titans in the tournament, winning 5-3 at Dominion, for the championship.
Loudoun County freshman Alexa Kling won the Dulles District singles title. Dominion’s Dominique Huynh was runner-up to Kling and teamed with partner Melissa Liu to win the district doubles title.
Stone Bridge was in the upper half of the very tough Liberty District in AAA play.
In track and field it was Loudoun County finishing third at Harrisonburg in the AA meet with seniors Joseph and Graham leading the way. Graham’s first in the 400 meters, led a 1-2-3 Loudoun finish with Dominion’s Garrett Robinson and Champe’s Brenden Wallace.
Graham and Joseph combined with teammates Nolan Graves and Michael Durrer to take second in the 4×400 relay at the state meet.
On the girls side, Potomac Falls senior Eileen Fauteux ended her great career with a runner-up finish in the 300 meter hurdles.
In the AAA state meet, Stone Bridge junior D’Ante Yarborough finished second in the 100 meter hurdles and also making All State were Broad Run senior Dorian Jenkins in the high jump and Freedom junior Amanda Salami in the 100 meters.
The Loudoun County boys claimed the Region II meet title in exciting fashion as they won the final race of the meet, the 4×400 meter relay at Fluvanna.
Loudoun County trailed Louisa County by four points going into that final race, 45-41, but the quartet of Michael Durrer, Steven Graham, Patrick Joseph and Nolan Graves ran a 3:20.93, blowing the field away by six seconds and shattering the regional meet record by three seconds. The Raiders 10 points for the win moved them to 51 and Louisa took 8th to finish runner-up with 46 points.
It was a record-breaking meet for Dulles District athletes with Briar Woods sophomore Brandon Polk setting two meet records with a 10.65 100 meters win and 21.74 win in the 200 meters. The 100 meters mark of 10.69 by Reuben Jones of Charlottesville had stood since 2004.
Joseph also won two individual events, with a meet record 1:52.90 in the 800 meters and a winning time of 4:22.18 in the 1600 meters.
Graham won the 400 meters with a 48.84 and was second in the 200 meters to Polk in a 21.81 time that also bettered the previous meet record.
Potomac Falls’ Tommy Fort won the 300 meter hurdles with a 40.35.
On the girls side, Heritage’s Alayna Bigalbal won the 3200 meters with a 11:44.34 time that was some 15 seconds better than her seed time coming in. Loudoun County’s Ana Valdez was second at 11:44.47 in a spectacularly close finish for such a long race.
The other local girl to come home with a first place medal was John Champe’s Makayla McGowan who threw a 35-10 in the shot.
At the Dulles District meet, Loudoun County ran away with the boys crown but in the closest finish ever on the girls side, Heritage and Tuscarora tied with 100 points for co-titles and Woodgrove was just five points back.