Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alec Lemon, Arundel

Alec Lemon, Arundel

The Post's B.J. Koubaroulis sits down with Arundel wide receiver Alec Lemon, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior who is aiming to show college recruiters that he is more than just a product of Arundel's pass-oriented offense. Lemon averaged 69.2 yards per catch last season, with 969 yards and 13 touchdowns.

NR Semifinals

Robinson Wins in Double OT
Barry's Goal Sinks Chantilly; Westfield Edges Centreville
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post

Trying to put away Chantilly in a Virginia AAA Northern Region girls' soccer tournament semifinal last night, Robinson sophomore Audrey Barry kept missing.

In the final 20 minutes of regulation, Barry watched in frustration as shot after shot left her foot for uncharted territory behind the goal, her highlight-reel cutbacks, dribbles and step-throughs unable to result in a goal at South County.

She soon realized what was wrong.

"I was pressing," said Barry, whose confidence began to waiver despite the fact that she has recorded 16 goals and 10 assists this spring. "I didn't know whether to pass or shoot."

What changes did Barry make in finishing a point-blank eight-yarder in the second overtime for a 2-1 victory?

"I just kept pressing," said Barry, who turned off her defender's hip, reeled in the loose ball and restored order for the Rams, who were pushed to the brink despite having beaten Chantilly (10-5-3) twice this spring.

The victory pushed No. 1 Robinson into tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. final at Yorktown against Westfield -- a 3-2 winner over Centreville in last night's other semifinal.

Robinson (17-1) has beaten Westfield (12-3-4) twice, both by scores of 2-1, including in the May 17 Concorde District tournament final.

"We know a lot about them and they know a lot about us, so it's going to come down to who wants it more," Barry said.

Trailing 2-1 in the final 20 minutes of last night's semifinal, Westfield got goals from sophomore reserve forward Jessica Andre (five goals, two assists) and sophomore midfielder Brittany Bonzano (11 goals, five assists).

Bonzano poured in the game-winner in the 70th minute, fighting through a sliding save by the goalkeeper and an extra defender on her hip before pushing a slow-rolling shot into the front left corner.

Westfield was able to advance despite being without its leading scorer, Virginia Commonwealth-bound senior forward Heather Hovanesian (18 goals, eight assists), who tore her right anterior cruciate ligament in last week's quarterfinal.

"We are used to finding Heather, Heather taking [the ball] up and doing something with it, but now we are just hoping for the best and working with what we have," said Westfield's Abby Sams, one of nine Bulldogs who combined for 15 shots -- including 10 on goal.

Three Bulldogs scored, including Sams's 26th-minute equalizer that tied the game at 1 following a 14th-minute hook-up from Centreville's Katie Cramp to Erika Pinto.

Less than a minute later, Centreville's Molly MacDonnell turned a throw-in into a 12-yard floater that gave the Wildcats a 2-1 halftime lead and hope that they could continue to turn their 4-6-2 regular season struggle into their fifth state tournament berth this decade.

The Wildcats' postseason included an upset over No. 5 Stone Bridge last week. They couldn't hold on last night, however, and their season ended at 7-8-2.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anthony Young-Wiseman, Whitman

Anthony Young-Wiseman, Whitman

This week's Recruiting Spotlight features Reporter B.J. Koubaroulis sitting down with Whitman multi-positional standout Anthony Young-Wiseman. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior sacrificed his personal statistics at wide receiver, taking the offensive reigns at quarterback and solidifying the secondary as a defensive back, where he used his 4.6 speed to help the Vikings to a 6-5 record. Young-Wiseman, headed to this weekend's state track and field tournament in the 200-meter, long jump and 4x200-meter relay, has offers from West Virginia, Duke and Syracuse and will be attending camps at Maryland, Clemson, Virginia and Penn State this summer. Coach Jim Kuhn has pledged to get the rising senior the ball "as many ways as you can." The 17-year-old enjoys making musical beats in his spare time.

Girls' Soccer Regionals

Stone Bridge Tops West Springfield
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, May 21, 2008; E07

Read the Loudoun Extra Version of this story

Stone Bridge senior forward Krysti Rodriguez sprinted down the left sideline, cut up the field and then pulled away, leaving her defender a step behind before finishing a right-footed slow-roller from 20 yards that slipped inside the right post in the 68th minute, giving Stone Bridge a 2-1 victory at West Springfield in last night's first round of the Virginia AAA Northern Region girls' soccer tournament.

"It was a lot of pressure, with the game being tied 1-1, I knew I needed to score," said Rodriguez, a junior All-Met who has committed to Hofstra.

No. 5 Stone Bridge (12-4) and No. 7 West Springfield (12-3-2) have spent much of the season ranked among the top three in The Post's Top 10, and each was considered a state title contender.

However, last week's district tournament upsets -- Stone Bridge's Liberty District semifinal loss to Madison and West Springfield's overtime Patriot District championship triumph over No. 2 South County -- forced last night's early first-round elimination game between the two powers, ending West Springfield's season and giving the Bulldogs vindication for their 3-2 season-opening loss to the Spartans.

"I was disappointed with our performance in the district playoffs, but sometimes things happen for a reason," Stone Bridge Coach Rae Ann Taylor said.

Abigail Apistolas, who finished sophomore Maggie Sheirling's high-arcing misfire on a run-through with a well-timed 20-yard boot for a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, said the district tournament loss, which made Stone Bridge a fourth-seed, "ended up being really good for us. I feel like we've already gotten our tough game out of the way."

Stone Bridge has won three of its past four games heading into Thursday's game against Centreville -- a 2-1 winner over Mount Vernon last night.

West Springfield sophomore midfielder Tina Rader scored her first goal of the season -- a left-footed equalizer from 10 yards out near the right post in the 37th minute-- before Rodriguez's winner.

Woodson, Robinson Win

William and Mary-bound senior midfielder Diana Weigel drilled a 20-yard blast under the crossbar to give W.T. Woodson a 3-2 overtime home victory over Lake Braddock last night, setting up Thursday's 7 p.m. quarterfinal game at top-ranked Robinson -- a 3-0 winner over Edison last night.

The matchup will pit Liberty District Player of the Year Niki Mercier (11 goals), junior forward Lindsay Ottavio (18 goals) and the fourth-ranked Cavaliers' high-powered offense (3.75 goals per game) against the No. 1 Rams (15-1) and goalkeeper Katherine Yount.

Yount, the Concorde District Player of the Year, has allowed only five total goals with 10 shutouts, including a 2-0 victory over Woodson on March 12.

The Rams, in search of their ninth region title since 1984, previously won the region in 2002. Woodson is 12-2-2.

South County Hat Trick

Sophomore forward Alex Reed scored three goals in South County's 5-3 victory over McLean last night at Madison.

Reed's first hat trick of the season helped the second-ranked Stallions (13-1-2) advance to Thursday's 7 p.m. home quarterfinal against fourth-seeded Chantilly -- a 1-0 winner at Yorktown last night.

Chantilly junior Kristen Melchiori finished junior midfielder Kaitlyn Manley's first-half setup to force a rematch of the teams' 1-1 tie on April 1.

The Chargers (9-4-2) had a potential winning goal waved off in the final five seconds of the regular-season matchup with the Stallions.

"I think it will be [physical]," South County Coach Maureen Saale said. "Both teams are going to be ready for each other."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Madison Girls' Soccer

Diggs Scores Twice to Lead Madison Over McLean in Title Game
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, May 17, 2008; E09

Entering the postseason with 13 goals, Madison's Sara Diggs already had proven herself as one of the area's finest finishers. The same could not be said of her team.

The Warhawks entered Tuesday's Virginia AAA Liberty District tournament first round with just seven wins and a defense that had allowed 20 goals, prompting the coaching staff to gamble on a formation change from its traditional 4-4-2 approach to a 3-5-2 formation.

In the new style, Diggs has remained constant, recording two of her four postseason goals in a 2-0 semifinal upset of fifth-ranked Stone Bridge (11-4) on Wednesday and two more scores in last night's 3-2 victory over visiting McLean, giving the Warhawks their first Liberty District girls' title since 1994.

"It's working," said Diggs, who finished a 14th minute eight-yard blast and a 55th minute left-footed one-on-one breakaway last night. "I'm able to get more one-on-one situations where I can power through" the defender.

Behind a confident attack, revived defense and strong goalkeeping by senior Grace Rosales, who stuffed 11 of McLean's shots last night, Madison (10-5) has now outscored its postseason opponents 6-2 and heads into next week's Virginia AAA Northern Region tournament as a No. 1 seed. The Warhawks will face Lee.

The formation change "puts more pressure on me," Rosales said. "It takes away a back and allows me to play further up on my line, but it gets us more offense because we just decided to go for it."

McLean (8-5-3) could not capitalize on eight corner tries and had several crisp set-pieces disrupted by the Warhawks' feisty backline -- Sami Kuykendall, Annmarie Irwin and Katie Grasso.

Fifth-seeded McLean, which had not lost in seven games since mid-April, ended its string of upsets, which included Tuesday's first-round win over Jefferson and semifinal victory over top-seed and fourth-ranked W.T. Woodson (11-2-2) Wednesday.

Madison senior forward Blake Krejci finished a two-on-one fast break offering from freshman midfielder Katy Colas with a right-footed 15-yard boot for a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute before McLean freshman midfielder Andie Romness (four goals, nine assists) answered with a ground-skimming 25-yarder that caught the Warhawks off-guard and cut the lead to 2-1 in the 33rd minute.

Seven minutes after Diggs's second-half breakaway finish, McLean junior Caity Flint (11 goals) cut the Warhawks' lead to 3-2 when she bent a left-footed 25-yarder under the crossbar, but the Warhawks' defense settled back, stuffing seven shots and four corner tries in the final 16 minutes.

"We just stayed together and tried to stay organized," Rosales said.

Jefferson Repeats

Jefferson senior midfielder Robert MacGregor was in full-stride, rushing to the right post all the while eyeing senior forward Bryan Blada's 30-yard high-arcing right-footed cross.

Sandwiched between two Stone Bridge defenders, MacGregor shifted into a higher gear, shedding both opponents for a one-touch finish in the 49th minute that broke open last night's 2-0 boys' championship victory over top-ranked Stone Bridge.

It was the Colonials' second straight Liberty District championship.

No. 5 Jefferson (12-1-2), which battled Stone Bridge (14-1-1) to a scoreless tie on April 18, ended the Bulldogs' undefeated season, earned the top seed in next week's region tournament and resurrected thoughts of last spring's unlikely run to the school's first Virginia AAA state championship.

"It's a little different this year because last year no one expected us to do it," said senior goalkeeper Ariel Brown, who made five of his nine acrobatic saves in the second half.

Five minutes after MacGregor's game-winner, Jefferson junior midfielder Justin Etkin recorded his 10th assist of the season on a 20-yard free kick that Ayman Abunimer headed home for a 2-0 lead.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FSN Fastbreak -- Soccer Update

The Madison girls' soccer team is on another postseason dream run and Robinson seems primed to take the Concorde. Herndon and Westfield will battle for the Concorde title on Friday.

On this all new webisode of FSN Fastbreak, B.J. Koubaroulis and Dave Buschenfeldt break down the postseason brackets and talk a little FUTBOL!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sean Stanley, Gaithersburg

Sean Stanley, Gaithersburg

This week's Recruiting Spotlight video features reporter B.J. Koubaroulis sitting down with Gaithersburg All-Met defensive lineman Sean Stanley. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound 16-year-old junior already wears a size 17 shoe but is still waiting to hit his growth-spurt. Stanley used his 4.8-second 40-yard speed to record 37 tackles and 16.5 sacks with nine forced fumbles this fall, garnering offers from Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Rutgers, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Stanford, Northwestern and Illinois. Stanley moved to the area from Louisiana when he was 14 years old and was soon been dubbed "the most dominant player in Montgomery County." He is ranked as high as 13th among the nation's top defensive lineman in the class of 2009.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Girls' Lax: Corridon Helps Bishop Ireton Move to League Final

Corridon Helps Bishop Ireton Move to League Final
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, May 9, 2008; E10

Bishop Ireton junior goalkeeper Bridgett Corridon admits that she doesn't like the pressure -- the lonely feeling of standing between the lacrosse goal posts by herself.

Much of that anxiety stems from a loss two years ago against Holy Cross, when Corridon felt that she let herself and her teammates down in a pivotal moment.

"We were on [junior varsity] and it was our last game, and there was 30 seconds left," Corridon said. "[Holy Cross] scored and they won, on me. Ever since then, I just, uh, I hate Holy Cross."

Yesterday, Corridon earned back some of that lost confidence, making three of her seven saves in the final 2 1/2 minutes to help Ireton hang on for an 11-10 win over Holy Cross in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls' semifinal.

In Monday's 5 p.m. WCAC girls' final at the University of Maryland's Ludwig Field, the Cardinals (16-3) will face No. 8 Good Counsel -- a 21-9 winner yesterday over O'Connell. Good Counsel (14-6) has won the past four WCAC titles, and Ireton has lost in its only two championship game appearances, in 2003 and 2006.

Yesterday at Ireton, after junior Brittany Barnwell's fourth goal -- a right-handed 10-yard game-winner with 3:39 left -- Corridon made back-to-back saves with 2:27 left and then saved Hayley Katzenberger's potential game-tying free-position shot with 1:04 left.

The saves "were big motivation-boosters," said Corridon, who allowed six goals in the first half as Holy Cross took a 4-1 lead before the Cardinals tied it at 6 by halftime. "I needed to keep myself in the game. Saves help me do that."

Barnwell (four goals, five shots on goal, four turnovers) led the Ireton attack, which featured four different goal scorers in the second half. Junior Lauren Gray (one goal) dominated the draw control, winning 5 of 9 second-half tries.

"Draw controls are the key to the game basically," Gray said. "We know if we get a draw control, we are going to get a goal. Going in there, I knew I had to step it up and get as many draw controls as I could and get [the ball] down to the other end."

Barnwell's winner came less than three minutes after the Cardinals had back-to-back goals waved off and less than two minutes after the Tartans' Grace Dinn (five goals) forced the game's seventh tie at 10 with an overhand free-position shot with 4:59 left.

Bishop Ireton 11 Holy Cross 10 Up Next: Bishop Ireton will face No. 8 Good Counsel on Monday at 5 p.m. at the University of Maryland. Automatic Tela: Ireton's Julianne Tela, a George Mason-bound senior midfielder, has 208 points in her four-year career. She had two goals yesterday.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Broad Run Gets a Leg Up on Rival

Broad Run Gets a Leg Up on Rival
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 6, 2008; Page E08

Six minutes into Broad Run's 3-1 home victory over Stone Bridge, Spartans goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter ran through Stone Bridge freshman defender Emily Fredrikson, leaving Fredrikson limp at the front right corner of the penalty box and adding new fuel to the rivalry between the two Ashburn girls' soccer powerhouses.

Because No. 4 Stone Bridge (9-3, 5-1 Virginia AAA Liberty District) and No. 5 Broad Run (13-0, 11-0 Virginia AA Dulles District) play in different conferences, last night's meeting meant little in terms of records and postseason posturing, but "It's definitely bragging rights," said Hunter, a UNC Wilmington signee, who had 10 saves last night and has allowed just five goals this season with nine shutouts.

"It's a pride thing. It's Stone Bridge-Broad Run and it's always going to be a big deal," said Broad Run junior forward Kelly Evans (18 goals, 7 assists), who corralled freshman defender Whitney Church's header offering and scored her 18th goal on a one-touch turn-around left-footed ricochet off the crossbar, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.

Less than 40 seconds later, Stone Bridge senior forward Melony Davis (10 goals, 2 assists) answered with a breakaway finish, knotting the game at 1.

Despite being outshot 10-6 in the first half, Broad Run capitalized on fewer scoring chances, taking a 3-1 lead on back-to-back goals from sophomore forward Rachel Tharp and senior forward Carina Chavez. Both scoring sets were kick-started by powerful throw-ins by junior defender Valerie Powell (11 goals, 9 assists).

The victory kept Broad Run undefeated and ended Stone Bridge's win streak at four, but it also did much to improve Broad Run's résumé, which had been built on 12 straight victories against seemingly weaker competition.

"Stone Bridge plays a lot of quality teams during the season and, not to say that we don't, but walking into this game, I knew it was going to be close and I knew that we were comparable," said Broad Run Coach Claire Collins.

Entering last night's game, Broad Run led the Post's Top 10 teams in goals per game (4.8) and shutouts (9) and was second in goals allowed (0.5), but the Spartans had accumulated most of those eye-popping stats against opponents from the Virginia AA Dulles District, where they have dominated in recent seasons.

In playing perhaps the area's most difficult schedule, Stone Bridge entered the rivalry with similar numbers (3.18 goals per game, 0.9 goals allowed, 5 shutouts), sporting a 2-2 record against ranked teams, including losses to No. 6 West Springfield (8-2-1) and No. 2 Woodson (9-2-1) and wins over No. 1 Robinson (10-1) and then fourth-ranked Chantilly (7-2-2).

No. 5 Broad Run 3, No. 4 Stone Bridge 1

College Soccer Hotbed: Last night's matchup featured seven players that have either signed or committed to play college soccer.

Catching a Break: Broad Run successfully defended all four of Stone Bridge's second-half corner kick tries and three free kicks, twice getting unlikely saves from players other than the goalkeeper.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Balance Of Power Shifts in Patriot

Balance Of Power Shifts in Patriot
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, May 3, 2008; E05

Following last night's 1-0 home victory over two-time defending Virginia AAA state champion Lake Braddock, South County's players pumped their fists as they flooded the field and giggled throughout a postgame huddle with their coach.

The joy -- or relief -- came naturally for a team seeking confirmation that it is the best in what is considered Virginia's most skilled conference, the Virginia AAA Patriot District -- where Lake Braddock (6-4, 5-1) has reigned in recent seasons, sending 32 players to college soccer programs in the past eight years.

"We went into this game knowing that they had been the best team and we wanted to change that," said South County junior Paige Ritari, who recorded her sixth assist on a 44th minute left-footed cross that sophomore Morgan Duffy buried with a leaping left-footed touch.

The victory gave No. 3 South County (9-0-2, 4-0-1) the top seed in the upcoming district tournament and ended No. 10 Lake Braddock's winning streak at five.

"We weren't scared going into this game," said Duffy, who has five goals and two assists and is part of an attack that is scoring 2.7 goals per game.

The Stallions' defense has allowed five goals, shut out eight opponents and outscored 11 opponents 30-5.

Talented players such as Duffy, Ritari and speedy forward Alex Reed (nine goals, four assists) have put the third-year Lorton program on the soccer map, tying West Springfield last week and downing traditional Northern Region giants such as Centreville before dominating Lake Braddock in every key category including shots on goal (14-8) and corner kicks (7-5).

The school draws from a talent pool that includes six premier Division I club players, 14 players who have played at the Region I Premier or WAGS Division I level -- including three players whose club team is a current Virginia State Cup Champion.

And considering that starting goalkeeper Caitlyn Kost (32 saves), Duffy and Reed are all sophomores and Kelley Johnson (three goals, two assists) is a freshman, the power shift might be seismic rather than temporary.

"Before when people thought of Patriot District, they thought of West Springfield and Lake Braddock, but now South County is going to pop in their minds and probably stick out the most," Reed said.

No. 3 South County 1 No. 10 Lake Braddock 0 Helpers: Of South County's 29 goals, 20 have been assisted. A Bruin Keeper: Lake Braddock junior goalkeeper Caitlin Landsman had 13 saves in last night's loss.