2022.05.19 Girls Soccer: Potomac District Semifinal, Potomac Falls @ Riverside

Lansdowne, VA (May 19, 2022) - The Riverside Rams earned the second seed in the Potomac District tournament by the slimmest of margins over the third-seeded Potomac Falls Panthers. They had played each other twice, with each team winning once, and their district records were only separated by a single point. With a trip to the championship on the line, the only difference between the two teams was the field--FACT Field at Riverside.

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

Much of the first half was played in the Panthers' defensive third. It wasn't that the Rams were getting tons of great chances, but they had better control of the midfield behind the indefatigable Abby Fisher. Riverside was organized and moving the ball forward efficiently, while Potomac Falls was content to clear the ball without a consistent buildup from the back.  

It wasn't until the 28th minute that the Panthers drove deep into Ram territory, and they got two solid chances--one that had to be parried over the crossbar by Riverside keeper Keagan Gardner--from field leader Ella Valente. Neither shot scored, but after those two attempts Potomac Falls became more assertive all over the field, and overall play was more balanced between the two teams.

In the 34th minute, Riverside forward Cami Wiles got one-on-one with the Panther left back. Her initial shot was blocked by the sprawling Potomac Falls keeper Amy Cruz, but the rebound came back to Wiles who nailed a shot for gaol, and a 1-0 halftime lead.

The first twenty minutes of the second half were even with both teams earning corner kicks and a few good chances--without a change on the scoreboard. But with thirteen minutes remaining--and desperation mode on the horizon for the Panthers--the visitors won a corner kick which Raegan Calvo punched in to the left side of the net with a beautiful header, to tie the score, 1-1. Both teams pushed hard to break the deadlock, but the regular time ended with no further scoring.

In the first overtime, Potomac Falls immediately took the advantage. Their first thrust into the Riverside penalty area was defused by the Rams defense, but the second one resulted in a goal by Olivia Duhaime. For the first time in the game, the Panthers had the lead.

Desperately looking for the equalizer, the Rams tried to attack, but could not penetrate the stalwart Panthers defense for the remainder of the two overtime periods. Potomac Falls heads to the district championship against the winner of the Independence @ Briar Woods Friday night semifinal.

Final Score: Potomac Falls 2 - Riverside 1

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