Sunday, November 04, 2007

Girls' Soccer

O'Connell's Net Work Lifts Potomac School
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, November 5, 2007; E10

After a vicious aerial collision against Georgetown Visitation, Potomac School sophomore goalkeeper Churchill O'Connell laid flat inside the penalty box. It looked bad, but O'Connell just needed time to recover.

"I'm the only goalkeeper, so I knew I had to get up," said O'Connell, who saved 14 shots in a 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Georgetown Visitation during yesterday's Independent School League AA final at Episcopal.

O'Connell saved two penalty shots in Friday's 4-2 shootout victory over seventh-ranked National Cathedral (13-3) to help the Panthers -- the tournament's third seed -- advance to yesterday's final.

"That's the second game in a row where she's kept us in it to win it," Potomac School Coach Ross McEwen said of O'Connell.

During its eight-game winning streak, Potomac School (11-3-2) shut out four opponents and beat two of The Post's top 10 teams to claim its first ISL tournament title since 1999.

Georgetown Visitation (14-3) outshot Potomac School 7-3 in the first half.

With 2 minutes and 11 seconds left in the second half, junior midfielder Cassidy Banks bent a 25-yard free kick over a wall of five defenders and into the top left corner of the net for the decisive goal.

"That's my specialty shot," Banks said. "I'm confident and I know what I want to do each time. I don't even look at the wall. I just know I'm going to place it in the upper left corner every time."

Georgetown Day's Reversal

Georgetown Day senior Sophie Gayter ran off the field clapping her hands when she was pulled out in the final minutes of the Mighty Hoppers' 4-0 victory over Flint Hill (10-5) in the ISL A Conference final at Episcopal.

A few teammates saw Gayter clapping and nodded their heads in a silent endorsement only a group of what Gayter called her "sisters" really could understand.

"It's unbelievable," said Gayter, as she tried to explain how her team -- which posted an 0-16-1 record two seasons ago -- was huddling for team pictures with the tournament trophy.

"We were winless. To come back and win the league with virtually the same starting lineup is unbelievable. I'm just happy to be a part of this team."

Gayter delivered a well-placed through pass that junior forward Alex Owens finished with a right-footed blast from 12 yards to put Georgetown Day (14-5) up 1-0 in the first minute.

"That set the tone for us," said Owens, who scored her 28th and 29th goals of the season. "Our goal coming into this season was to win the title for the seniors, and it was a lot of work, but it feels amazing."

No comments: