Ashburn, VA (June 21, 2021) - If the game had started on time, the first half would have been a soggy, dangerous mess. But officials rightly delayed the start so a strong, but brief storm could pass through. No need to risk a game as big as a state semifinal between the Lafayette Rams, who had traveled from Williamsburg, and the host Independence Tigers.

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

Conditions were fine as the first half kicked off. The skies were gray and cloudy, and the air was damp and heavy, but turf fields are designed to drain quickly and everyone was good to go.

But perhaps the delay caused both teams to be a bit sluggish to start. There was definitely some standing water on the field and that caused the ball to skip at times and to drag at others. Everyone seemed to be tentative, but that's also true any time two teams meet for the first time, especially with a trip to the state championship at stake.

Lafayette had the best early chance as a good shot went wide in the 10th minute.  Independence was more productive in their buildup, but also sent early shots wide, and neither goalkeeper was truly challenged to make a difficult save.

The Tigers finally broke through when Angela Grof-Tisza snuck a shot just inside the left post at the 34th minute. The opportunistic left wing had been substituted into the match just prior to her goal. Coming so late in the half, that goal gave all of the momentum to Independence as the break arrived with the score at 1-0.

Credit goes to the Rams for starting the second half with some fire. They pushed into the attacking third and generated their best chances of the night right away. But the Tiger defense held, and no damage was done.

As the period progressed it looked like this match would end up as a taut, one-goal affair, but In the 68th minute Independence unleashed an offensive fury. Over the next five minutes Grace Hamel, Cameron Shackford, and Reagan Wise all scored to decisively put the game out of reach.

Lafayette completes an incredible season while Independence will host Western Albemarle in the state championship game.

Final Score: Independence 4 - Lafayette 0

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In