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Girls' Soccer: O'Connell Rides With the Wind

Coach Alberto Starace and his No. 5 O’Connell girls’ soccer team had decided to go against a strong wind in the first half of their match against No. 7 Georgetown Visitation Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, the thinking being that with the wind on their side after halftime, the Knights would control play in the second half.

Thirty seconds into the game, though, that strategy got thrown out the window — or more accurately, flew away courtesy of one wacky gust. Before anybody could blink an eye, O’Connell freshman Morgan Reuther had fired a shot from 30 yards out that hung in the air thanks to that quirky breeze and found its way over the head of Georgetown Visitation keeper Teresa Rubinger.

The goal stood up, as neither team scored the rest of the way and the Knights escaped with a 1-0 victory. "Hey, 30 seconds into the game, it’s still a win,” said Starace, whose team is now 4-0 to start the season. “We’re finding ways to win and that’s the sign of a good team, but we didn’t play our best game.”


For the Cubs, who were playing their season opener after a 15-1 campaign in 2008, it was one fluky way to start the year. Good thing the defending ISL AA champions were able to laugh about it afterward.

“We were joking with [Rubinger], ‘There you go, there’s your one for the year, you got it out of the way,'” said Georgetown Visitation Coach Zeff Yusof.

Things weren’t all well and good for Visitation, though. Senior Megan O’Conner, a Fordham commit and one of the Cubs top players, suffered a right knee injury midway through the first half. Yusof said she’ll get it checked out by a doctor in the coming days.

Starace and O’Connell were without star defender Jackie Moriarty, who’s still recovering from a concussion. The Knights travel to the McDonogh Invitational this weekend, where they could potentially face Pennington Prep of New Jersey, ranked No. 3 in the nation by ESPN.

The non-conference matchup Wednesday was the first of a full slate of high profile girls’ soccer matches and tournaments around the area in the coming days. I’ll have more on this in next week’s girls’ soccer notebook in the print edition, but the top teams on the soccer pitch this fall certainly aren’t shying away from one another during the first few weeks of the season.

Here’s a rundown of the games I’ll be keeping my eye on in the next few days:

Thursday: No. 4 Quince Orchard at No. 8 Urbana, 6:30 p.m.
Friday: No. 10 Reservoir at No. 6 Glenelg
Saturday: Good Counsel Invitational — No. 3 B-CC at No. 2 Good Counsel, 9 a.m.; No. 7 Georgetown Visitation vs. No. 3 B-CC

If you’ve got any suggestions for my girls’ soccer coverage over the course of this fall or just want to bother me with things that have nothing to do with high school sports, feel free to shoot me an email at giannottom@washpost.com anytime.

By Mark Giannotto  |  September 9, 2009; 8:25 PM ET
Categories:  ISL AA , WCAC , girls' soccer  | Tags: B-CC, Fordham, Georgetown Visitation, Glenelg, Good Counsel, O'Connell, Quince Orchard, Reservoir, Urbana  
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