By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Millbrook has looked like the team to beat in the Northwestern District this season, but that doesn't mean this week's girls soccer district tournament is a lock for them.
Second-seeded Sherando will be one of the teams looking to walk away with the tournament hardware.
The Warriors had two close games with the Pioneers, which will certainly give them confidence if the teams were to meet in the tourney.
"I believe the district tournament is up for grabs," Sherando coach Rob Kilmer said. "There have been some close games during the regular season, so we should believe that the tournament will be close as well."
The Warriors will play third-seeded Handley in the tournament semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Millbrook. Skyline will play James Wood in the play-in game at Millbrook tonight. The winner of that game will then play at top-seeded Millbrook at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The only blemish on the Pioneers record this season was a 0-0 tie with James Wood.
Sherando and Handley split two 2-1 overtime games this season, and Kilmer expects another close one in the semifinals, where a Region II berth could be at stake.
"We have already had the two games this season go to overtime so I would imagine its going to be close," Kilmer said. "These two teams know each other very well, and Handley is well coached so it's going to be a good game."
Stonewall Jackson will be the third-seed in the Shenandoah District tournament, which starts Friday. The Generals will host sixth-seeded East Rockingham at 7 p.m.
The Generals swept the Eagles, 5-0 and 1-0, this season.
If they win that game, the Generals will likely face Wilson Memorial in the semifinals. The Green Hornets won both games by 2-0 scores during the regular season.
Central will start the Bull Run District tournament on the road Monday, but the Falcons do not know who they will play. The seventh-seeded Falcons will play at the loser of Thursday's regular season playoff game between Clarke County and George Mason.
"We're just going to try to be competitive and hopefully surprise a few teams," Central coach Hap Kwiatkowski said.
Strasburg will be the sixth seed and play at third-seeded William Monroe. The Green Dragons swept the Rams 4-0 and 8-0.
The Rams have been playing better lately, including a win last week over fourth-seeded Madison County and a win on Tuesday over Central.
"I feel like in the first half of the season there were some games we could have won, but didn't," Strasburg coach Katherine Klus said. "We moved some players around, but we never lost our team work. They've played together. We lost to Central the first time, but beat them the second time. We lost to Madison, but then beat them the second time. We beat Manassas park twice. I think the girls started to really believe in themselves."
Warren County's fate is still to be decided in the Evergreen District, which starts it's four-team tournament Monday.
The Wildcats are currently battling Brentsville and Liberty for third, fourth and fifth. Warren County has to play four games in five days this week, and still has a game left with both Brentsville and Liberty this week.
"This has been a crazy season with a large number of games being rained out," Warren County coach Mike Carpenter said. "We need to finish the regular season strong and put together complete games. Once getting in the tournament anything can happen."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org