Woodgrove players rejoice around senior Katie Beebe after she scored on a free kick during the Wolverines’ 3-0 victory against Loudoun County in the Virginia AA girls soccer championship game June 9 at Radford University.—Times-Mirror Photo/Richard Shumaker
Katie Beebe, Lexi Clarke, Lucy Etro, Addie Healy, Tabitha McHale and Charlotte Ratcliff each earned a spot on Loudoun Valley High School’s varsity girls soccer team as freshman. Four years later, the same six student-athletes helped second-year Woodgrove High School win its first-ever state championship.
With the aid of those six seniors, along with a stellar group of juniors and sophomores, the Wolverines capped an unbeaten season June 9 with a 3-0 victory against Dulles District foe Loudoun County in the Virginia AA girls soccer championship game at Radford University.
“I was actually the only one that was supposed to stay at Valley but they persuaded me to go to Woodgrove,” Ratcliff said of her senior teammates. “They said ‘we’ve been together, we can make a name for ourselves, we can hopefully win a state championship.’ And look, we’ve accomplished that. So I’m very happy.”
The Wolverines had set their sights on returning to Radford - site of the state semifinals and final - and winning it all after falling in the 2011 state semifinals.
“After last year, we knew we could do so much better,” Beebe said. “We really came together as a team throughout the season starting with our first game. We were ready the whole season to win this.”
In Saturday’s final, Woodgrove (24-0-1) received goals from Beebe and juniors Victoria Perry and Sarah Hardison, while junior Maggie Buxton and Healy, a late substitution, combined on the shutout in goal.
It was also the first state championship as a head coach for Woodgrove’s Erin Barrett, who was an assistant coach at Potomac Falls, Loudoun County and Loudoun Valley before starting the Wolverine program in 2011.
“To win the first state team championship at your high school, that’s history,” Barrett said. “You can’t do that again. It feels really good and they deserve it.”
Along with a very talented roster that features 11 players committed to play in college - including 10 at the Division I level, Barrett feels “versatility” is what makes her team special.
“To have so much depth on the field and on the bench is really remarkable,” Barrett said. “And it’s using them in the right way and them coming along together. We had the same personnel last year but we realized we could branch out and have different styles of play and different routes to goal.”
For the Wolverines’ six seniors who will all play in college, the third time proved to be the charm. The group lost in the state semifinals as freshmen at Loudoun Valley and last year at Woodgrove.
“We’ve been playing together since we were five years old,” Beebe said. “It’s really awesome to win this time.”
Woodgrove Wolverines Girls Soccer
Another deep run for Raiders
Loudoun County may have fell one win shy of its ultimate goal, but the Raiders still have plenty of positives to take away from the 2012 season.
The Raiders (18-5-2) advanced to the final of the Dulles District, Region II and Virginia AA tournaments, and placed second in the district season standings this spring.
Loudoun County - coached by Kirk Smith and featuring Region II Player of the Year Shauna Kain - blanked Tabb, 5-0, in the state quarterfinals and defeated Jefferson Forest, 1-0, in the state semifinals to reach the title game for the second time in three seasons.
-Below photos by Richard Shumaker