By Owen Gotimer
Leesburg (May 24, 2015) – A back-and-forth girls varsity soccer game between No. 2 Tuscarora High School and No. 3 Briar Woods High School saw a tie heading into the under two-minute mark in Leesburg on May 22.
The Huskies’ midfield bellowed “we don’t want overtime,” and junior forward Kelly Reilly heard the call as she kicked a shot off the Falcon crossbar which bounced down across the goal line giving Tuscarora the late game winner, 1-0, in a Conference 14 semifinal.
“I was just thinking that there’s nothing to lose,” Reilly said. “I was being kind of timid with my other shots, so when it came to me I saw an opening, and I thought why not? I just took the shot.”
After the ball banged off the crossbar and down across the goal line, no initial call was made by the officials as Briar Woods pushed the ball to an outlet and Tuscarora began their late-game celebration. A quick meeting between the linesman and head official confirmed the Husky goal, and the girls in white and blue knew two more minutes of defense would help punch their ticket to the Conference 14 championship and VHSL 5A North region tournament.
“I didn’t know what to expect, because I didn’t know if it was actually going to be a goal, so I was a little nervous,” Reilly said. “Once the ref called it a goal I was really excited, because we worked hard for this.”
Playing to a tie against the reigning state champion Falcons would have been impressive for the Huskies, but coming out with the win made life so much sweeter.
“We were ecstatic. We knew Briar Woods was going to be a really, really tough challenge for us,” Tuscarora head coach Nicole Brower said. “We put ourselves in the position we wanted to: we’re going to the conference final.”
The win sealed a bid to the region playoffs and a shot to play for the Conference 14 championship on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. in Ashburn against No. 1 Broad Run High School.
“We really want to be conference champions,” Brower said. “It’s important to us, so I know we’re going to come out on Tuesday and play to win.”
Teams around Loudoun County and the Commonwealth know that the Lady Spartans might be the best 5A team in the state, but the thrill of competition has the Huskies ready to challenge them.
“We need to play faster and put the ball in the net. We’ll be really aggressive against them because they’re an aggressive team,” Reilly said. “I’m just really excited.”
78′ T Kelly Reilly
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned a degree in broadcast and digital journalism. Before attending SU, Owen graduated from Heritage High School in Leesburg. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.