Winchester, VA (June 14, 2021) - With poor weather predicted for later in the evening, the scene was bright and sunny as the Region 4C girls soccer matchup between the host James Wood Colonels and the Loudoun County Captains was set to begin.

The Colonels were seeded second and the Captains third, but comparisons during this COVID impacted season are difficult to make. No common opponents and all games played strictly within district parameters left both teams wondering a bit just how good they were.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

From the opening kickoff it was clear that both teams deserved to be there. But the Colonels seemed to be a step ahead. They were faster to the ball, and their connecting passes were quick and cleat-to-cleat. And in the 7th minute, the Colonels' Katelyn Mounts pushed her team ahead with a brilliant goal, 1-0. After another ten minutes of persistent pressure on the County goal, Sidney Rather scored to double the margin.

For the rest of the half, the Captains regained composure and moved the ball into the James Wood defensive third with more consistency. But County's signature ball control style of play was simply not effective enough as a counter to the Colonels' rapid pace. The Captains' best chance came late in the half when a long free kick banged off the top bar, but rebounded harmlessly away. At the halftime break, the score remained, 2-0.

In the second half Loudoun County was more threatening, but the Colonels defense stiffened. James Wood was efficiently marking Taylor Simmons and Tori Gillis, effectively shutting down the two outstanding Captain attackers. Neither could get off anything uncontested, and Gillis' power in the air was neutralized by the height of the James Wood defenders.

In the 66th minute, James Woods' Olivia Walker scored to give the Colonels a commanding 3-0 lead. But Simmons nailed a long shot to bring the margin back to two goals, and the Captains continued to try to erase the deficit.

As time wound down, the James Wood sidelines and the home stands began to roar in approval and celebration of the program's first ever regional victory. Now it's on to play Dominion in the regional final.

Final Score: James Wood 3  - Loudoun County 1

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