Wednesday, July 18, 2007

For Bruins, A Date to Remember
By B.J. Koubaroulis

Special to The Washington Post

Sunday, June 10, 2007; E09

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., June 9 -- Lake Braddock senior Kat Weiler isn't sure how to ask Coach Liz Pike to pay up. She does know that she and her teammates are owed, however, after the fourth-ranked Bruins defeated Cox, 2-1, in overtime in the Virginia AAA girls' soccer championship on Saturday.

The night before, Weiler and eight other seniors skipped Lake Braddock's prom, instead staying in Newport News to rest and prepare for a chance to win back-to-back state titles.
"Our coach said that she would get us a limo and another prom," said Weiler, who scored the opening goal and assisted on Lauren Fleming's game-winner. "I don't know if that was a bribe, but this is much more fun than prom."

Lake Braddock (17-3-2) became the first repeat AAA girls' soccer state champion since W.T. Woodson won in 1997 and 1998.

Weiler, an All-Met who will play for Pittsburgh next year, was sidelined for five games this season and the entire first half of Saturday's game with a nagging injury to her right quadriceps. But she broke open a scoreless game in the 45th minute with a 35-yard, left-footed volley that barely cleared Cox goalkeeper Kristin Carden's leap.

Cox (18-6-1) got the game-tying goal from Finley Hines less than two minutes later.
Lake Braddock found a way past the 6-foot-1, Virginia Tech-bound Carden (12 saves) three minutes into overtime.

"Kat Weiler took it down to the goal line and I called for the slot-back [pass]," Fleming said. "She slotted it back to me, and I took the shot and it went in."

The Bruins outshot Cox -- a team that had 14 shutouts this season -- 19-7.
"We knew they were going to have a very strong keeper, and the only way to get a strong keeper flustered is to have shots coming, whether they get on goal or not," Pike said. "The girls kept on pounding at the goal."

The Bruins were making their fourth state final appearance in five years -- they beat Cox last year, lost to Kellam in 2005 and beat Clover Hill in 2003.

"It's definitely well-deserved, and [the players] proved themselves," Pike said. "There was no way they were going to miss their prom and not win the championship."

No. 4 Lake Braddock 2, Cox 1 (OT) Big, Bad, Bruins: In the 23-year history of the Virginia AAA girls' soccer tournament, Lake Braddock has the most final appearances (eight) and is tied with West Springfield for titles with five. Containing Chloe: Lake Braddock's Rachel Nichols held Cox's Chloe Russell, who has a team-high 20 goals, scoreless.

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