Girls' Soccer: WCAC Title on the Line
What’s most incredible about Friday’s season-ending girls’ soccer showdown between No. 2 Good Counsel and No. 6 O’Connell isn’t that the two will be meeting with the WCAC regular season title on the line – many predicted things would play out this way in the preseason -- it’s the fact that the two teams’ seasons have followed a remarkably similar script.
Each started the year hot, highlighted with big non-conference victories (O’Connell defeated reigning ISL AA champion Georgetown Visitation, 1-0, on Sep. 9, while Good Counsel beat No. 3 Bethesda-Chevy Chase on Sep. 12).
The two conference rivals then went through a rough patch in the middle of the season where both struggled to score goals. Good Counsel went through a 0-1-3 stretch at the end of September that saw it score just two goals. O’Connell, meanwhile, endured an 0-2-2 stretch around the same time that culminated with a 2-0 loss in its first meeting with Good Counsel.
Both enter Friday playing their best soccer of the season. O’Connell has racked up eight straight wins, though it still must face Elizabeth Seton, a team it tied earlier this year, Thursday, in a makeup game due to last week’s rainfall. Even with a loss or tie to Seton, a win over Good Counsel would still give O’Connell the regular season title. Good Counsel enters Friday on a six-game winning streak.
“I think (O’Connell Coach) Alberto (Starace) and I are similar in bringing our teams on and knowing there are ups and down,” said Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno. “We both want to be strong at the end.”
When the two teams met back on Sep. 22, the Falcons’ Crystal Kozcot dominated play in the midfield, especially in the second half when she scored a goal and assisted on another. But the score wasn’t indicative of how close the game was, as O’Connell freshman Morgan Ruenther missed on three point-blank opportunities in the first half and then hit the post on another shot in the second half. The winner Friday enters next week’s WCAC playoffs as the No. 1 seed. More importantlythough, to the victor goes the spoils of a healthy dose of confidence heading into the postseason.
“I’ve won the tournament as a No. 1 seed, a No. 2 seed, and a No. 3 seed,” said Bruno. “The WCAC tournament just depends on how well we play tomorrow, because we want to keep our momentum going.”
October 22, 2009; 3:07 PM ET
Categories: Girls' Soccer , Good Counsel , WCAC
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