Last spring, eighth-ranked Woodgrove celebrated its first year as a school by reaching the Virginia AA girls’ soccer semifinals without any seniors on the roster. They were, of course, young.
So when the Wolverines fell short of their goal, they could easily look to this season with anticipation because they would return everyone. With eight Division I commitments and one Division III commitment, and more to come, Woodgrove’s soccer future is certainly bright.
Against No. 9 Briar Woods on Wednesday night, the Wolverines showcased their depth and ability in the second meeting of Dulles District contenders with a 1-0 win in Purcellville.
Asked to assess her team’s ability, junior goalkeeper Maggie Buxton didn’t hold back.
“There isn’t anyone on our team that doesn’t have great foot skills or just great talent,” Buxton said. “Every single person on this team is just so talented.”
With standout junior defender Brittany Basinger out with an ankle injury and some starters being rotated in and out, the Wolverines (5-0-1) proved to be a deep squad.
They scored in the 16th minute when junior midfielder Ashley Bonner headed a cross from senior midfielder Charlotte Ratcliff into the left corner of the goal.
While Woodgrove Coach Erin Barrett rotated in and out senior midfielder Lexi Clarke and junior forward Sarah Hardison, among others, the Wolverines withstood Briar Woods’s attack.
“To have the depth that we have is pretty incredible,” said Barrett, who added this is the most talented team she has coached.
Standout senior forward Lina Granados, a second-team All-Met last season, weaved through the Wolverines’ defense and aggresively attacked in the second half for Briar Woods (3-1-1). At one point, Buxton turned away three shots by Granados within three minutes.
“The defense works really well,” Buxton said. “They don’t really need me telling them. Mainly I would just have one person marking Lina because she’s just really good. But I always made sure we had a person on her.”
After the win, many Woodgrove players slipped on neon green shirts with the words “made our mark” on the back, an earnest display of their confidence and accomplishments from last season. But now they have a new goal.
“We just want to prove that we can do better that what we already have,” Buxton said. “We didn’t lose anybody so we can’t just stay at the same level, but excel.”