2022.06.10 Girls Soccer: VHSL Class 4 Semifinal, Tuscarora v Smithfield

Fredericksburg, VA (June 10, 2022) - It was an unusual, early morning start time for this state semifinal game, but high level competition was not unusual at all for the Smithfield Packers and the Tuscarora Huskies. Both teams had stellar regular seasons.

The Packers had lost only once, cruising through the Bay Rivers District and Region 4A tournaments. The Huskies drive to this point was marred by a Dulles District playoff loss to Broad Run--a team in the other semifinal--but they rectified that with a Region 4C championship including a win over the Spartans.

This game, of course, meant everything. One team would continue on, while the other would have to be content with a great season that fell just short of a rare chance at a state championship.

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

The first half was fairly balanced, with neither team getting more than a few chances at goal. Smithfield keeper Sydney Schwarz had to parry two balls over the goal to keep the Huskies from scoring, but those were her two most difficult saves. On the other end, Eve Kaufman was really not challenged much at all. but late in the half she was struck in the face accidentally during a corner kick clearance and had to be subbed out by Sol Moreno.

Tuscarora had been the stronger side for sure, but when the second half began Smithfield had renewed energy and managed to push the ball more deeply into the Huskies' side.  The heat of the day increased as the morning progressed, and so did the game's intensity. Both teams knew that a single goal could be the deciding factor between going to the championship or not, so play became much more physical--not unexpected in a game of this magnitude.

Tuscarora finally got the  break they needed when a corner kick wasn’t cleared by the Smithfield defense. After a scramble for the loose ball, the Huskies' Sophia Kistner found an opening and scored what turned out to be the deciding goal.

Immediately, the Packers became more desperate and actually created their most dangerous chances of the day. The best one came when a ball was lofted in from deep on the right wing, but it cleared the left side of the goal harmlessly.

Perhaps the story of the game was the Tuscarora defense, led by Kendall Stimart as they stayed very organized and focused throughout the game and prevented the Smithfield offense from getting the equalizer or many truly penetrating attacks for the full match. The Smithfield defense was excellent, too, but that one goal was simply the difference in the game.

Smithfield ends a great season, and Tuscarora advances to the championship game.

Final Score: Tuscarora 1 - Smithfield 0 

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