Ashburn, VA (May 29, 2019) - The Lee Lancers' season started off slowly. Losing four of their first five games the outlook for success looked bleak, but they turned it around and finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak. Although they lost in the National District tournament semifinals, they had earned their placement in the Region 5C tournament.
On the other hand the top-seeded Briar Woods Falcons had never lost. Period. Not in the regular season, not in the Potomac District tournament, and not in the regionals so far.
Within the first two minutes of the game the Falcons launched a blistering attack. The Lancers were fighting just to clear the penalty area while the Briar Woods forwards fired multiple dangerous shots. While two found frame, none of them found net and that allowed Lee to settle into a more patient defense.
The differences between the two teams were noticeable.The Falcons clearly had the edge in height, power, and organization while Lee seemed scrappier and more determined. The Lancers simply had nothing to lose combined with a confidence found in their overtime win over Broad Run the day before.
The first half ended with a surprising tied score, 0-0. After that initial flurry neither team had much chance to score at all. Lee had to feel good that they had held in check the prolific scoring talent on the other side of the field. Yes, most of the play had been in the Falcons' attacking third, but each time they approached the goal they were thwarted.
In the 63rd minute, Briar Woods began to surge. Mason Shockley took the ball to the goal line just inside the left side of the penalty area and then crossed it to a waiting Joe Annunziata. When the stellar forward missed a wide open net his frustration seemed to ignite his teammates who then began a full-on blitz.
Instead of hitting a crushing shot, two minutes later Shockley chipped one over the Lee keeper for the goal. Lee didn't give up and actually pushed Briar Woods back on defense for the first time in the game, but could not find the tying goal.
Briar Woods advances to the region final.
Final Score: Briar Woods 1 - Lee 0