Ashburn, VA (May 31, 2019) - The Stone Bridge Bulldogs and Briar Woods Falcons had already met three times this year in girls soccer. Exactly two total goals separated the teams, but the Bulldogs had the advantage, winning twice and tying once including a big win in the Potomac District tournament championship just a week ago.
Now, their inclusion in the state tournament already assured, the two teams squared off to settle the score again, decide the Region 5C championship, and establish placement at States.
As with most high quality soccer games, this one started out with each team probing the opposing defense looking for ways through. At first, and for the majority of the first half, Briar Woods had a slight edge in possession and field position. Led up front by Sophie Maltese and at midfield by Sara Duffie, the Falcons even generated a few chances, but they were easily swallowed up by Bulldog keeper Natasha Sharif.
in the 27th minute, Stone Bridge broke through as Maddie Blake scored to give her team a 1-0 lead. That would not be enough to win, but it was more than enough to generate huge momentum. Riding that wave they scored again just four minutes later as the diminutive Caroline Davis cruised in from the right flank and lofted a shot over the outstretched arms of Rachel Cundey. The Falcon keeper was jut not able to reach the shot, and the halftime margin was 2-0.
The second half was a tough, physical challenge for both teams. The fourth rendition of this rivalry went back and forth with Briar Woods trying to find some way to even the score. But Stone Bridge was too balanced overall, and too organized and strong in the back, to let the Falcons get back into the game. When the final whistle blew, the Bulldogs held the region trophy high.
Briar Woods will travel to play Albemarle as the eighth seed in the state tournament while Stone Bridge, the second seed, will host Mountain View.
Final Score: Stone Bridge 2 - Briar Woods 0