2022.06.01 Girls Soccer: Region 6B Semifinal, Patriot @ John Champe

Aldie, VA (June 1, 2022) - How strong was the Cedar Run District this year? All four regional qualifiers won their quarterfinal matches--and that means the semifinal competitors were very familiar with each other. The top-seeded John Champe Knights won easily, defeating Woodbridge, 5-0. The Patriot Pioneers had a bit harder time of it, but they got by Forest Park, 2-1.

Head-to-head earlier in the season, the two teams fought to a draw, 2-2, but it had been six weeks since they played each other. This time, a spot in the regional final and the state tournament would go to the winner.

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

The first 20 minutes were typical of a playoff game between two competitive teams. Most of the play was confined to the space between the penalty areas, and no threatening chances were had by either team. John Champe earned two corners, and Patriot earned one, but the kicks were easily cleared upfield.

In the tenth minute, the John Champe keeper mis-kicked a clearing ball, inadvertently sending it backwards toward her own net, but it passed harmlessly outside the goal. That looked to be the best chance either team would have before halftime, but with three minutes remaining Pioneer wing Carly Gillette struck a thirty-yard shot that found the upper left corner for a stunning 1-0 lead at the break.

As the second half opened, John Champe pushed hard for the equalizer and began getting deeper into the the Patriot end. They lined up several hard shots, but each one was effectively blocked by the Pioneers. The pressure was building, the field was tilting toward Patriot keeper Abigail Ochs, and her defense was doing everything they could to maintain their lead.

For the first twelve minutes of the half, the ball had hardly been out of the Patriot half, but the Pioneers got a huge break when the ball was cleared upfield to the waiting Gillette who broke away on the right side and crushed a second goal into the left corner of the net, again stunning the John Champe side. 

The Knights had plenty of time to get back in the game, but that second goal inspired the whole Patriot team to play even tougher defense. While Champe repeatedly got the ball into the penalty area, their shots continued to be blocked or deflected by the outstanding play of the Pioneer back line led by Carly Brock and Hannah McGarvey.

Gradually, time ran out on any chance of a Champe comeback. A place in the regional final now a reality, the celebration began on the Patriot side.

Final Score: Patriot 2 - John Champe 0

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In