Leesburg (May 28, 2013) – Tuscarora High School’s Justin Carey transitioned from center midfielder to forward at just the right time as he connected with the game’s only goals in the 55th and 65th minutes giving the Huskies the advantage over Potomac Falls, 2-0, in the Region II quarterfinals Tuesday.
“We took him out of the central midfield and moved him up to striker just trying to get another push from somebody else, a little bit of effort up there,” said Tuscarora coach Dave Gryder, who notched career win No. 200 with the victory. “He got the ball at a good opportunity and made a good shot. He’s got the scoring ability. We’re using him at center midfielder this year to control the ball, but we know he can finish.”
Carey, who had two goals on the season before the quarterfinal, connected on the first goal with a chip over the goalkeeper from the 15-yard mark and knocked the insurance goal in with his head with 14 minutes left in the action.
“With my header there weren’t many people in the box,” the sophomore Carey said. “I was just looking for a gap because I knew if I could put in a good ball, I could finish it for our team.”
The 2-0 game was the highest scoring total of the season when these two teams met, as Tuscarora took both the first and second match-ups in 1-0 decisions. The Huskies’ defense, highlighted by senior goalie Adam Kight, has posted 14 shutouts this year.
“Our defense has kept us in a lot of games this year,” Carey said. “It’s nice to know when they’re under pressure, we can support them. Putting in the extra one gives us that comfort. We can all relax knowing we’re going to win the game with our defense and Kight back there.”
Kight, who was named to the Dulles District first team this year, made five saves including two in crunch time as the Panthers pushed with under 10 minutes to play.
“Adam made some excellent saves for us,” Gryder said. “He made some saves tonight that without making the game’s probably tied and momentum shifts. He was really key for us.”
Both Tuscarora and Potomac Falls have defenses that keep their respective teams in most games, and Gryder knew coming in that his Huskies had to pressure the Panther defense if they wanted to win.
“Being undefeated and then having to play probably your toughest rival in the first round of regionals is not a good draw. Playing a team three times is always tough, beating them three times is even tougher,” Gryder said. “You just got to keep attacking and keep shooting as much as you can. You got to try to catch them off guard. They’re really strong throughout the middle. Their center back [Ryan Lesane] does an excellent job of controlling the middle so you have to go to the outside, away from him.”
Overcoming the Potomac Falls’ defense is not going to be the toughest challenge for the Huskies in this Region II tournament as their leading scorer and offensive superstar Angel Ceron-Garcia was red carded in the 64th minute, along with the Panther’s Steven Lumsden, following a shoving match, resulting in a one game suspension for Ceron-Garcia.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Gryder said. “Somebody is going to have to step up. The next person in line is going to have to find a way to get a goal. It may open them up a little bit more because Angel gets so much attention. We try to get him the ball a lot so maybe this will help us in a way. People are going to have to step up and produce.”
Tuscarora will take on Sherando High School in Leesburg at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 in a Region II semifinal with the winner earning a berth to the Virginia AA State tournament.
“Being at home is going to help,” Gryder said. “We know what’s at stake.”