2023.06.01 Boys Soccer: Region 4C Championship, Loudoun County @ Tuscarora

Leesburg, VA (June 1, 2023) - Exactly one month ago, on a rain-swept field, the Loudoun County Captains beat the Tuscarora Huskies, 2-1. Just a week ago, the Huskies returned the favor in the Dulles District Championship. On this night, they met to decide the Region 4C champion. Both teams had qualified for States already, but along with the title came the coveted right to host a first-round game.

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

epic (adjective) : extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope

In the end, a play-by-play recitation of the events of this game would simply not do it justice.

After the district championship game, the Tuscarora coach said to his team, "be prepared, boys, because we'll see them again in a week." Prior to tonight's contest, the Loudoun County athletic director said, "it will probably be another one-goal game." Both were right.

Abusing the old adage, in soccer maybe "familiarity breeds defense." Both teams knew each other so well that they were able to almost completely shut down the most potent scorers on the field. For the entirety of regulation and four overtimes, defense was the name of the game.

For Loudoun County, credit goes to Wyatt SimmonsLandon Rahim, and Victor Fuentes-Melendez in front of keeper Fernando Saturno Alvarado, who was on top of his game. Even indispensable midfielder Connor Campbell spent much of the night on defense.

For Tuscarora, goalkeeper Miguel Soriano Fuentes was superb all night and was ably fronted by Diego AvelarGeoffrey Stehn and Adam Linder, among others who fell back from midfield to contribute.

The crowds were awesome, not sitting back in their seats but leaning forward and cheering with every close play and every passing minute. As the night went on, most of the students left the bleachers and crowded the fence to be nearer the pitch and their heroes.

Late in the fourth overtime, County's Alex Ahedo raced through the penalty box hoping to head a high-bouncing ball into goal for the game winner. If it goes in, the Captains win, but Soriano met Ahedo, literally, head-to-head as the ball went harmlessly past the goal and the two warriors fell stunned to the ground. That single play was symbolic of the whole game with each participant giving absolutely everything they had until they simply had nothing left.

But they still had a shootout to play, and it was epic in and of itself. In the round of five, each keeper made one brilliant save, and four shooters for each team made unstoppable shots. In the end, the difference was a single Loudoun County well-laced strike. When Bryan Mora Valle laced that final shot into the net, bedlam broke out in the Captains' corner of the field as the team and student body danced and celebrated together.

Loudoun County advances to host a Class 4 quarterfinal game, while Tuscarora will go on the road. 

They have a chance to meet again, and it will be epic.

Final Score: Loudoun County 1 - Tuscarora 0 (6-5 on Penalty Kicks)

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