Aldie, VA (June 4, 2019) - When teams play their regular season schedules as far apart as the Patrick Henry Patriots (Roanoke) and the Freedom Eagles (South Riding), it's really hard to tell how they compare. The level of competition each team faces can be vastly different, and even when you meet in a state semifinal matchup no one knows for sure just how things will shake out.
But from the opening faceoff, there was no doubt that both teams came to play with a spot in the VHSL 5A championship their shared goal. And, led by the strength and length of attacker Savannah Derey, the Patriots took the first lead. For the opening ten minutes or so the Eagles were on defense and trying to keep the high-flying Patriots from scoring. By the time Freedom got going, they were already down 2-0.
Kiran Smitka and Emily Maier quickly scored to pull the Eagles even, but Patrick Henry would go on a 5-3 run to take what seemed to be a commanding 7-5 lead at halftime. However, Freedom had scored right before the break and that may have been just the momentum they needed.
As soon as the second half began, the Eagles scored twice to tie the game at 7-7. Elizabeth Stuhr gave the lead back to the Patriots, but it was clear that they were on the defensive. Something about the Eagles' strategy changed at halftime, and they were suddenly winning every faceoff and keeping the ball in the Patrick Henry end--a stark reversal of the first half.
In the 32nd minute, led by two goals from Allison Ohri, Freedom exploded with five unanswered goals to take a lead they would never relinquish. Suddenly, it was 12-8 and the Eagles had the largest lead either team had held. The Patriots would fight back with two of the next three goals, but they needed more and were forced to chase Freedom as the Eagles played a possession game for the last ten minutes of the match.
Grace Kahoun led the scoring for Patrick Henry with four goals while Ohri equaled that total for the Eagles.
Freedom advances to the state championship.
Final Score: Freedom 13 - Patrick Henry 10