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February 18, 2009 > Washington wins MVAL girls soccer tournament in a thriller

Washington wins MVAL girls soccer tournament in a thriller

By Gary van den Heuvel

The Washington Huskies girls soccer team proved they were deserving MVAL champions by coming back to defeat second-seeded Mission San Jose, 3-2, at Tak Fudenna Stadium in a final of the Shaughenessy tournament that went to a shootout after two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods.

"We felt like we needed to show why we were in first," said Washington's sophomore scoring machine Paige Diamond after the win. After a 0-0 first half on a slick field under a steady rain, Diamond scored the first of her two goals in the second minute of the second half by brilliantly dribbling the ball downfield, weaving between two Warriors defenders until she launched a shot into the right corner of the net out of the reach of Mission goalie Allison Day.

Washington's jubilation over their lead was short-lived, as two minutes later, Mission's Christine Nam found herself right in front of the goal and volley-kicked the ball into the Washington net to tie the game at 1-1.

And three minutes later, the Warriors broke through again. Madison Hirsch took a shot from inside the goal box which skimmed the ground. Washington goalie Elizabeth Garcia attempted a diving save but the ball slipped off her fingers, and senior Kelly Cannon was right there to tap the ball into the empty net. Just like that, Mission had a 2-1 lead and a ton of momentum - until the 65th minute of the game.

Washington tied the game when Hayley Fields launched a shot from the left side of the goal box which went over the head of Allison Day, and directly to the foot of Paige Diamond, who tapped it in on the fly for her second goal. That ended the scoring in regulation, and in the two 10-minute Golden Goal overtime periods, both Day and Garcia kept their teams alive with amazing saves in one-on-one situations, which led to a shootout.

With the Huskies leading 3-2 in the shootout and each team having one shot remaining, Washington junior Lauren Floro had the opportunity to end the game if she could put the ball past Allison Day. She did, and the jubilant Huskies celebrated their tournament victory in the middle of the field.

Floro took her situation - of being the last player to attempt a shootout goal - in stride: "I knew I had to make it to win," she said.

Washington was seeded #12 in the Class 3A bracket by the NCS Committee on Sunday, and will travel on Wednesday, Feb. 18, to play #5-seeded Castro Valley from the Hayward Area Athletic League at 7 p.m.

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