Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Battlefield Girls' Soccer

High-Scoring Duo Could Put Battlefield on the Map
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, April 30, 2008; E10

In many ways, Battlefield High School forwards Jessica Jewell and Sahar Aflaki share the same story.

They are two of the state's most dynamic and talented forwards, yet most girls' soccer coaches and players outside of the Virginia AAA Cedar Run District have never heard of them.

"No one has really emerged from the Cedar Run on the state level," Bobcats Coach Kevin Hilton said. "I think people look at Battlefield and think, 'That's a pretty good program, but I don't know if it's a great program.' "

If that is to change, Battlefield (10-1) -- a fourth-year program that has never made it past the Virginia AAA Northwest Region tournament's first round -- will rely heavily on Jewell and Aflaki, who have combined for 31 of the Bobcats' 46 goals this season.

Jewell, positioned at defender for her first two seasons of high school, has thrived as a forward, scoring 14 goals last season and recording 15 goals and 10 assists midway through this spring.

The 5-foot-5, aggressive speedster had an assist in Battlefield's 4-1 victory over Fauquier last night, but has yet to receive a college scholarship offer. She is considering walking on at the college level.

"I don't know how she slipped through the cracks, honestly," Hilton said.

Because Aflaki, a sophomore, missed most of last season with an ankle injury, she too entered this season "flying under the radar," Hilton said.

Aflaki has scored 16 goals (with seven assists), including a 30-yard game-winner in the 79th minute of a 3-2 victory over Osbourn Park on April 18.

"Jesse is more 'get into the box and take people on,' and Sahar has a really strong shot," Hilton said. "At least in our district, I don't know if there is a better tandem up top."

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