Broad Run forward Cassie Smith goes to head the ball in the first overtime period of the Virginia AAA girls soccer championship. The Spartans, playing in their fifth consecutive title game, fell to Cosby in penalty kicks after the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and four overtimes.—Times-Mirror Photo/Greg Nash
After 100 minutes of play, the Virginia AAA girls soccer championship between Broad Run High School and Cosby remained scoreless.
The championship game, played in 90-degree weather June 9 at Westfield High School in Chantilly, would be decided by a penalty kick shootout.
Broad Run converted one of its four attempts, with freshman Caroline Kerns netting the Spartans’ only goal. Cosby made two of its first four shots.
If Lizzy Patrick could convert the Titans’ fifth attempt, Broad Run’s streak of four consecutive state championship would end.
Patrick nailed it.
But Broad Run coach Claire Collins, who guided the Spartans to consecutive AA state titles from 2008-2011, refused to let her players hang their heads.
“We weren’t even supposed to get out of the district; that’s what everyone was slating us for,” said Collins, whose team moved up to Group AAA this school year.
“We fought hard and we came together at the end of our season, and unfortunately we didn’t get to finish the goal of winning the state title.”
Broad Run (13-5-5) struggled early in the season, dropping two of its first three games.
But as players recovered from injury and the squad got used to AAA, Broad Run found its stride. Peaking late, the Spartans were unbeaten in 12 of their last 14 games, including a stunning defeat of the then-undefeated Forest Park in Northwest Region semifinals with a last-minute goal by Kerns.
The Spartans’ offense had a much harder time against Central Region champion Cosby (23-0-1). The Titans held Broad Run to just seven shots in 100 minutes.
But a potent Broad Run defense, led by goalie Haley Casanova, kept the game scoreless. Twice the Titans seemed poised to score but in the 34th minute, Chelsea Davis saved a would-be goal when Casanova was off her line. Erin Brady did the same 44 minutes later. Casanova ended up with seven saves on 12 shots in regulation and four five-minute overtimes.
“At the end of the day, we were even teams at the stopping point,” Broad Run senior Dani Dangremond said. “We couldn’t get a goal in, they couldn’t get a goal in. It’s unfortunate it had to be decided by PKs.”
This year’s team will bid adieu to six seniors, including four starters, all of whom were on the All-Cedar Run District team.
“There’s going to be a little gap when they leave, because they are an integral part to our success,” Collins said.
But neither Collins nor Dangremond is worried about next year’s team.
“The underclassmen have proven themselves to have a lot of talent,” Dangremond said. “There’s a good future for Broad Run soccer.”
-All photos by Greg Nash