(May 31, 2013) – The Briar Woods High School boys and girls soccer teams were simply bigger and stronger than their opponents Thursday as they muscled their way into the AA state tournament with the boys edging Park View, 2-1, and the girls dominating Tuscarora, 3-0, in a Region II semifinal doubleheader in Ashburn.
It will be an all-Dulles District Region II finals in soccer yet again as the Woodgrove girls continued their postseason offensive explosion behind senior Sarah Hardison with a 3-0 win at Fauquier and the Tuscarora boys remained unbeaten on Diego Rodriguez’s goal in overtime for a 1-0 win over Sherando.
Tuscarora will host Briar Woods at 7 p.m. in Leesburg in the Region II boys final tonight and Briar Woods will host Woodgrove at 7 p.m. in the girls final. All four teams advance to next week’s AA state tournament, which the Woodgrove girls won in 2012 and the Tuscarora boys finished runner-up. (Read on for recaps of all four games plus a look at the all-time series records for the teams in the finals)
Boys: Briar Woods 2, Park View 1
Underdog Park View (11-7-2) took a 1-0 lead into halftime after freshman Paul Justiniano headed in senior Lenel Santos’ free kick in the final 30 seconds of the first 40 minutes, but the second half was all Briar Woods as the Falcons put constant pressure on the Patriots.
Briar Woods (16-4-1) had beaten Park View, 5-0, on April 30 but the Patriots athletic junior keeper Sam Onyeador did not play in that contest and the Falcons needed to find a way Thursday to get the ball past the Patriot goalie.
That opportunity came in the 48th minutes thanks to a penalty kick. Briar Woods senior David Etter was making a strong move down the right side of the penalty area when he was fouled off the ball. Junior Colin Verfurth calmly stepped up and drilled the penalty kick to the upper right portion of the net for the 1-1 tie.
Briar Woods senior midfielder Mamadou Barry had plenty of space to work with in the second half and with 19:12 left he slotted the ball to senior Nick Der-Hacopian on the right wing and though he is listed on the Falcon roster as a defender, Der-Hacopian looked like a natural forward as he slotted a good finish past Onyeador that turned out to be the game winner.
Boys Soccer: Tuscarora 1, Sherando 0 (OT)
Tuscarora (20-0-2) was in danger of having its first loss of the season be its final game as they went into overtime with Sherando at home with neither side able to score. Finally, freshman striker Diego Rodriquez put the Huskies up 1-0 in the first of two five-minute overtimes and the Huskies defense made it stand up to clinch another trip to the Region II finals.
The Huskies survived the scare with their top player, Angel Ceron-Garcia (21 goals) on the sidelines after picking up a red card in the quarterfinals. He is eligible to return for the finals.
That Tuscarora shut out Sherando is not a surprise as the Huskies, behind keeper Adam Kight, have four straight shutouts in the playoffs and Tuscaroar has only allowed four goals since April 12, all in blowouts. During that stretch, the Huskies are 16-0-0, out-scoring opponents, 55-4.
A Tuscaroar vs. Briar Woods Region II final tonight is no surprise as the two teams have met now eight times since the start of 2012, including five times in the playoffs. Tuscarora has won the last four match-ups including the Dulles District finals a week ago and last year’s Region II and Dulles District finals.
Briar Woods vs. Tuscarroar Boys Soccer: All-Time Series
Tuscarora leads 6-3-0
4.13.11 Tuscarora 1, Briar Woods 0
5.13.11 Briar Woods 3, Tuscarora 2
3.20.12 Tuscarora 1, Briar Woods 0
4.24.12 Briar Woods 2, Tuscarora 0
5.16.12 Briar Woods 1, Tuscaroar 1 (2OT, BW won n PKs, 4-2)*high seed tiebreaker*
5.24.12 Tuscarora 2, Briar Woods 0 **Dulles Finals**
6.2.12 Tuscarora 3, Briar Woods 1 **Region II Finals**
4.23.13 Tuscarora 2, Briar Woods 0
5.23.13 Tuscarora 1, Briar Woods 0 **Dulles Finals**
Girls Soccer: Briar Woods 3, Tuscarora 0
The key Thursday for the Briar Woods girls was to be able to breakdown the stingy Tuscarora defense which in the regular-season had played the Falcons to a scoreless draw.
Briar Woods (16-4-1) found the key to loosening up the Huskies when freshman Rayven Conner hit as pretty of a free kick you will ever see in the 10th minute from 30 yards out. Conner’s crisp strike ducked under the crossbar for the 1-0 lead.
Tuscarora (14-2-5), trailing, had to take a few more chances and that opened up the game for the Falcons quick-footed counter attack which struck in the 16th minute when Conner made a pass down the left side that freed up junior Mckensey Ziegler, who then showed good patience as she worked the ball back around the edge of the penalty area, squeezing off a shot that slid by the Huskies keeper into the back of the net at the far post for the 2-0 lead.
Briar Woods ended any hopes of a Tuscarora comeback early in the second half when junior midfielder Elizabeth Reid scored with 33:43 left.
The Falcons defense and keeper Tori Riopelle, who didn’t face a shot on goal until late in the contest, took care of the rest.
Girls Soccer: Woodgrove 3, Fauquier 0
The defending AA state champion Woodgrove High School girls soccer team is peaking at the right time as the Wolverines won their seventh straight game with senior Sarah Hardison’s continuing her torrid playoffs with two more goals in a 3-0 road win at Fauquier.
Hardison now has 11 goals in the postseason including eight goals in three regional games. Senior Brittany Basinger scored the other goal Thursday.
Senior Maggie Buxton recorded her 12th save of the season in goal.
Woodgrove has now qualified for the state playoffs in all three years since opening in Purcellville.
Woodgrove (17-4-1) will play at Briar Woods in the Region II finals in a rematch of last week’s Dulles District finals, won 3-0 by the Wolverines, with — who else — Hardison scoring two goals and Ashley Bonner adding a goal.
Briar Woods won the March regular-season match-up, 2-1. It was the Falcons only win over the Wolverines since Woodgrove opened three years ago. The series has always been close starting with the first four meetings all going to overtime.
Woodgrove is 3-0 vs. Briar Woods in playoff games including a 4-3 win in last year’s Region II semifinals that ended the Falcons season.
Briar Woods vs. Woodgrove Girls Soccer: All-Time Series
Woodgrove leads 5-1-3
3.22.11 Briar Woods 1, Woodgrove 1 (OT – tie)
5.5.11 Briar Woods 1, Woodgrove 1 (OT – tie)
5.24.11 Woodgrove 1, Briar Woods 1 (2OT, WG advances on PKs)**Dulles semifinals**
3.15.12 Briar Woods 0, Woodgrove 0 (OT – tie)
3.28.12 Woodgrove 1, Briar Woods 0
5.22.12 Woodgrove 3, Briar Woods 2 **Dulles semifinals**
5.30.12 Woodgrove 4, Briar Woods 3 **Region II semifinals**
3.18.13 Briar Woods 2, Woodgrove 1
5.23.13 Woodgrove 3, Briar Woods 0 **Dulles finals**