2022.06.02 Boys Soccer: Region 4C Championship, Tuscarora @ Millbrook

Winchester, VA (June 2, 2022) - With spots in the state playoffs already guaranteed for the Millbrook Pioneers and the visiting Tuscarora Huskies, a regional championship could easily be seen as an afterthought. But having played each other twice in the regular season--unusual since they are not in the same district--with each team winning once at home, this match had additional meaning for everyone involved.

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

The intensity was apparent right away as both teams were going all out for every ball. The long grass of a natural field may have been an early advantage for the Pioneers, but the Huskies adjusted their game quickly. With all LCPS schools now providing turf on their game fields, Tuscarora was used to a much faster surface, but they were still able to move with their customary quick passes and fast touches while adding a bit more of an air game.

In the first half both teams had decent chances for goals, but were unable to finish. Tuscarora keeper Riley Klemm and Millbrook keeper Nicholas Catlett were only truly challenged a few times, and Klemm had to make perhaps the toughest plays punching out two corner kicks amidst a crowd of players from both teams. The half ended scoreless.

In the 47th minute, just seven minutes into the second half, Huskies forward James Rollison struck a twenty-five yard line drive that Catlett blocked, but could not control. The opportunistic Oswaldo Rafailano raced into the penalty area outreaching his defender and deftly touching the ball into the net for a 1-0 Tuscarora lead. 

Millbrook immediately pushed into the Huskies defensive third looking for the equalizer. But the Huskies defense was up to the challenge. The Pioneers had good chances, but just couldn't quite finish.

In the 57th minute, Tuscarora set up a dangerous free kick just outside the left corner of the Millbrook penalty area. The ensuing kick was not cleared by the Pioneer defense, and the Huskies Jonathan Barahona made them pay with a quality shot into the back of the net. 

Now leading 2-0 with twenty minutes remaining, the Huskies had to brace for the Millbrook attack, and it was not over yet. Almost immediately the Pioneers scored an apparent goal, but it was called back for an infraction and disallowed. From that point on, both teams had additional opportunities, but no more goals as a result.

By winning the region, Tuscarora will host a quarterfinal state playoff game while Millbrook will be on the road for theirs.

Final Score: Tuscarora 2 - Millbrook 0 

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