Aldie VA (March 28, 2019) - Early season matches are a chance for teams to get organized and prepare for the grind of the new season. With just two or three games completed for each team, this matchup between the John Champe Knights and the Tuscarora Huskies would measure where each team is now while giving coaches guidance as to where they could be a month from now.
Coming into the match, the two teams shared one common opponent: Stonewall Jackson. Both teams easily shut out the Raiders, an overmatched team that has the unfortunate task of playing so many quality squads from Loudoun County. Additionally, the Knights' record of 1-1 was only marginally better than the Huskies' mark of 1-2. In other words, there weren't many obvious indicators as to how this game would go.
But from the opening whistle Champe was clearly the stronger side. Throughout the game the majority of play was in the Tuscarora defensive third. Numerous chances for Maddie Wyner and her attacking Knight teammates were left unfinished or just cleared by the stingy Husky defense.
The Huskies settled down about fifteen minutes into the match and were able to maintain more possession. Overall play moved from their end to midfield, but did not venture far or frequently into the Champe side. The Knights' outside back Nevaeh Lockhart dismissed virtually every threat before Tuscarora could sniff the Champe goal.
It looked like the game would be scoreless as halftime loomed, but with three minutes left the Knights' Madison Deckelman drove home a loose ball after Tuscarora failed to clear a Champe free throw. At the break, the score stood at 1-0, John Champe.
The second half was more evenly played, but still dominated by the Knights. Were it not for the brilliant play of Tuscarora goalkeeper Lara Bates, the scoreboard difference would have been significant. The senior net-minder brilliantly punched away several corner kicks--at her own peril--and stopped at least two point-blank chances.
Final Score: John Champe 1 - Tuscarora 0