Sterling, VA (May 2, 2019) - Preamble...
As opposed to the opening game of this double-header, the nightcap featured teams from the same schools but with markedly different aspirations for the postseason. The visiting Loudoun Valley Vikings had lost just once so far overall and their Dulles District record of 4-1-2 had them in second place right behind the host Park View Patriots.
Park View had a more modest overall record of 7-4-0, but their district results were, literally, sterling at 6-1-0. A win for the Patriots tonight would solidify their top spot for now, but they would have to do it again at Loudoun Valley in a week's time.
To say that this game was intense from the start would be a significant understatement. Loudoun Valley was more structured and patterned in their play, and Park View showed more individual brilliance, but it was clear that these two teams had earned their ranking and stature this season--and they were out to prove it tonight.
Loudoun Valley has always featured sturdy defense and a high-flying air game, but Park View also showed that their defense is extremely hard to penetrate. Goals would simply not come easy.
But in the 10th minute, the Patriots' Giacomo Macchiavello found a way as he calmly slotted home a rebounded shot for the first lead of the game, 1-0. Each team would trade scoring opportunities that awed the crowd, but no one would score again in the first half.
Probably the worst thing that could happen to the Vikings would be an early second half Patriots goal. It had already been hard enough to score, but that would make a hill seem more like a mountain. And that's just what Park View did. In the 43rd minute, Elton Quintanilla broke away and crushed it for a huge 2-0 lead.
That tally unified the home team and their midfield possession became the strength of their game. Loudoun Valley would thrust repeatedly into the Patriot defensive third, but they could not get close enough and time began to run out.
But with a minute remaining, a mad scramble resulted in a goal from the Vikings' Cooper Sayles. Although there simply was not enough time to score again, that late tally sets the rematch up to be a thriller.
Final Score: Park View 2 - Loudoun Valley 1