Friday, November 16, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Mohns and Urbana Hold Their Nerve, Win a Title
Injured Player Hits Crucial Penalty Kick in Shootout
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, November 16, 2007; E06

Urbana senior Kelly Mohns limped to the circle of her celebrating teammates.

She was late to her own celebration -- one she started with her right-footed game-winning penalty kick that gave Urbana a 3-2 victory over Wilde Lake in an overtime shootout in last night's 3A state final at Broadneck.

It was Urbana's first state title.

"I take a lot of [penalty kicks] in practice to make sure that I make them in moments like these," said Mohns, who injured her right knee in the first half. "I tell myself that it's just like practice."

And No. 10 Urbana has had plenty of practice in penalty kick shootouts -- it won three of its five postseason games in such fashion.

In its run to the title, Urbana defeated teams with a combined 56-21-2 record, including shootout wins over Tuscarora and fifth-ranked Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Those teams have combined for four state titles since 2001.

"This group, somehow, just kept finding a way," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said. "Winning one overtime shootout game is unique, winning three in a postseason is . . . I don't know?"

Urbana scored just 24 goals this season but gave up only 16 en route to a 12-3-1 finish.
Wilde Lake finished 16-5.

"We do not have a high-powered offense, but we possess the ball well," Nichols said. "It's not been pretty, but all year we've been finding a way to win."

Urbana junior midfielder Julia Roberts scored two goals -- her sixth and seventh goals of the postseason -- and connected on the Hawks' first penalty kick to set the tone for a shootout in which four of five Hawks converted their shots.

"I don't care who scores as long as they get it done," said Roberts, a member of the under-16 national team. "Coach told us, especially in the playoffs, to 'shoot, shoot, shoot.' "

Urbana outshot Wilde Lake 15-9.

Roberts intercepted a Wilde Lake free kick, settled it off her chest and delivered a 35-yard boot to the top right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.

Wilde Lake junior midfielder Caitlin Duff tied the game in the 57th minute when she slipped a right-footed free kick under the crossbar and, 10 minutes later, the Wildecats took a 2-1 lead on an 18-yard shot from junior forward Faryn Watts (14 goals).

Roberts answered 30 seconds later by burying a 25-yard free kick that tied it at 2.

No. 10 Urbana 3, Wilde Lake 2

Procida Steps Down: After five years as the Wildecats head coach, Dave Procida announced yesterday that he will not return next season. "What I'll remember most about this team is their resilience," Procida said.

Koplow's Stops: Wilde Lake junior goalkeeper Grace Koplow had 12 saves, including a diving stop in the shootout.

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