SALEM — After making their first appearance in the state tournament in program history, the William Monroe High School girls soccer team fell in the Class 3 State Semifinals 3-0 to Western Albemarle High School.
In the state quarterfinals, Monroe faced Tabb High School on June 4 at York High School. The Dragons emerged with a 1-1 (7-6) victory, advancing to the semifinals against Western on June 7 at Salem High School.
Western’s sophomore forward Kelly Rogers scored midway through the first half to open the scoring. Kate DeJong gained possession on the right wing and delivered a cross to Rogers on the back post and the sophomore blasted it inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.
Rogers’ production was an added bonus for Western Albemarle, which was without the services of one of their top offensive weapons. Julia Berg became ill prior to game time and was forced to miss the state semifinal.
William Monroe didn’t get discouraged by the goal and clamped down defensively for the remainder of the first half. Goalkeeper Alex Sharff made five saves in the first half, including a couple big stops from close range to keep the score 1-0 at halftime.
“In the past we’ve had long trips where they came off lethargic, but I think they were aware of how big the stage was and just went for it,” Monroe head coach Jeremy Lamm said. “Julia Sharff, Stacey Calderon-Castillo and Sarah Earle were as good defensively as I had seen them all season, but Western is just a different animal.”
The Greene Dragons went to work offensively in the second half in search of the equalizer. Sydney Dombrovskis’ shot with 27 minutes left was deflected just wide as the Warriors maintained the one-goal lead.
“She had a great game,” said Katrine Berg, the Warriors leading scorer, of Dombrovskis. “We knew we needed to stay tight on her and cover her at all times.”
Ten minutes later, Sharff turned aside another Western Albemarle chance with a diving stop to keep the Dragons in the hunt.
Katrine Berg tacked on an insurance goal with 11:56 left in the second half to give Western Albemarle a commanding 2-0 lead. Berg took a shot from the right wing that deflected off a defender and inside the near post.
Western Albemarle sealed the win in stoppage time as Erin Meier found the back of the net to secure a 3-0 victory.
“Overall on the season I don’t think anyone expected to see us there, much less get a win in the first round. The girls worked so hard throughout the year and really made up their minds to make a run,” Lamm said. “Western was as good as advertised. In a game where we needed to be perfect we came up short. The girls fought to the very end. I couldn’t have been more proud of how they played. They emptied the tank out there and left it all on the field.”
The Warriors went on to face Brentsville High School in the championship game on June 8. Saturday’s Class 3 state championship game between Western and Brentsville District was a rematch of the 2018 final. Western Albemarle defeated Brentsville 3-1, the team’s third consecutive state title.
John Harvey of The Daily Progress contributed to this reporting.