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Huge girls' soccer upset in the WCAC

St. John's Coach Colin Lennon considers himself an eternal optimist, but even he found himself questioning his team's karma after the litany of maladies the Cadets had to endure this season. After finishing last year as the Washington Post's No. 1 ranked team following their second consecutive WCAC title -- and third in four years -- Lemmon could only shake his head as a flu bag and knee injuries decimated his team.

As a result, the Cadets stumbled to a 4-10-3 record this fall. The first time Lennon and St. John's had the complete roster intact came this past Monday, when the Cadets defeated McNamara, 3-0, in a WCAC tournament play-in game. Now, though, St. John's seems to be making up for lost time. The Cadets pulled off a stunning upset in the WCAC quarterfinals Wednesday night, defeating No. 5 O'Connell, 3-2, in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie after two overtimes.

"Every game this year was a new challenge because we didn’t really know what team we were gonna put out there given the illnesses and injuries," said Lennon, who added it was only fitting that he woke up with a 101 degree fever this morning. "But I had a feeling we’d shocked a lot of people. For me, I’ve been around this game a lot of years and that was a top five moment for me as a coach."

Senior Rosie Brinckerhoff scored the Cadets' lone goal, in the second half, while the strong play of goalie Kirsten Glad set the stage for penalty kicks. Glad stopped one O'Connell shot, while two others hit the post. The Cadets took a conservative approach to the game, laying back defensively in hopes of keeping the score close heading into the second half. Lennon figured the favored Knights -- who defeated St. John's twice during the regular season -- would start to feel some pressure. But O'Connell entered halftime with a 1-0 lead.

"Credit to our girls, they responded perfectly at halftime," said Lennon. "I said very little, but they got back on board and it was a totally different team after the half."

St. John's moves onto the WCAC semifinals Friday night against the winner of Thursday's quarterfinal between Paul VI and Elizabeth Seton, which was postponed from last night.

By Mark Giannotto  |  October 29, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  St. John's , WCAC , girls' soccer  
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