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Bulldog seniors aim to finish prep careers on top

Senior Emily Person high fives teammates during player introductions prior to Stone Bridge’s May 9 home game against Thomas Jefferson. The Bulldogs capped an unbeaten regular season with a 4-0 victory.—Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Carl Lukat
Six seniors on Stone Bridge High School's girls soccer team were members of the Bulldogs' 2010 Virginia AAA state championship squad as freshman.

Fresh off an unbeaten regular season, Stone Bridge will aim to send its seniors out with another state crown in 2013.

"This is very important to them," Stone Bridge coach Joan Windows said.

Overall, the Bulldogs feature nine seniors, along with a talented crop of freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

Led by the dynamic duo of seniors Murielle Tiernan and Ashley Herndon, Stone Bridge finished the regular season atop the AAA Liberty District standings with a 6-0-1 district mark to go with a 12-0-2 overall record.

Stone Bridge secured the top seed in this week's Liberty District tournament and enter the postseason the healthiest its been all year.

Seniors Carson Cyphers and Emily Person are back from injuries, while another senior, Corinne Giroux, is playing as much as possible through a hip injury that will require surgery after the season.

"We feel pretty good," Windows said of her team's mindset. "We have a couple of kids still banged up but they are getting some time in and slowly recovering. It's definitely better than the beginning of the season when we had a lot of kids out."

The Bulldogs were recognized for their stellar regular season with 11 players earning All-Liberty District selection. Tiernan and Herndon shared Player of the Year honors, while Giroux and senior Ariana Alston were also named to the first team.

Juniors Natalie Grunder and Gracie DeGooyer, along with Cyphers garnered second-team selection. Person and freshman Briana Alston, Lindsay Gallagher and Brigitte Deel received honorable mentions.

Ariana Alston feels there is a definite sense of urgency for the Bulldogs entering the playoffs.

"I think last year we just didn't really want it as bad as we do this year" she said. "Last year, a majority of the team was juniors so we kind of thought we have next year too."

Emily Lung, Cyphers, Giroux, Person, Herndon and Tiernan played on the 2010 state title team, while seniors Ariana Alston, Andrea Choo and Kelly Stancik are aiming for their first state crown.

"This year, we are ready for it," Alston said. "We've been working really hard all season and taking each game at a time. We are prepared to go all the way."


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