By Spencer DuPuis
Leesburg (May 26, 2015) — It was a sunny, breezy evening on Friday, May 22 when the girls soccer teams from Sherando High School and Heritage High School met in a Conference 21 semifinal match in Leesburg. In their only other match of the season on April 8, Heritage escaped with a narrow 3-2 win after defensive woes hurt the Pride in the first half.
In the 10th-minute of the rematch, Heritage sophomore and leading scorer Cori Carlston opened up the scoring for the Pride in what seemed like a bad luck half for the Pride, where they barely missed three goals.
“That’s been our ongoing issue: not putting away easy balls in the first half of games,” Heritage head coach Holly King said. “Over half time we talked about concentrating and finishing.”
With the lead, Pride senior goalkeeper Zoe Foxhall went on — as she did in eight other games this season — to stop every shot that came her way, albeit not that many did come her way as the Pride’s defense was stout for most of the game.
“It felt really good to shut them out,” Foxhall said. “Especially after the last time we played them, the whole team rallied around each other to defend as one unit. [This game] helps enforce how far we have come this season.”
In the 45th-minute, the Pride’s offense rushed the net and junior forward Kathryn Counts scored with three other teammates surrounding the goal. About five minutes after that, Pride sophomore midfielder Kelsey Steinbauer put one in the back of the net to make it a 3-0 lead for the Pride.
The Pride had more chances in the second half, but Warrior sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Hott stopped most of them, until Erin Lindberg all but iced the game for the Pride, scoring with under ten minutes to play making the final 4-0.
The win sealed Heritage a bid to the VHSL 4A North region playoffs and a shot to play for the Conference 21 championship on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. against No. 1 seed and crosstown rival Loudoun County High School.
“I am very excited [to secure a spot in the region]. I’m extremely excited for these girls, I know they want it so bad,” King said. “I knew coming into the season that this team was going to be special, and we have a lot of talent; it was just waiting for them to all come together. Right now everyone is playing at the top of their game. That’s where we want them to be. Going into [Loudoun] County we will have a different game plan, but I think our girls are ready for them.”
10’ H Cori Carlston
45’ H Kathryn Counts
50’ H Kelsey Steinbauer
72’ H Erin Lindberg
Spencer DuPuis is a junior at Heritage High School in Leesburg. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.