By Joe Skinner
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Aldie (May 30, 2015) — The Vikings and Knights varsity girls soccer teams met on the pitch to settle the score once and for all on May 29. After the teams tied in their regular season finale, the pressure and tension of a championship game was needed to find out which team would prevail.
This match up between the two soccer superpowers of Conference 28 needed just over an hour and a half to find a victor in the winner-take-all game. Loudoun Valley High School got the final laugh, as they defeated John Champe High School on the road to claim the Conference 28 championship, 3-2.
The first half of the game was no different from the previous meeting on May 15: gridlocked. Each team was matching each other step for step, shot for shot and save for save.
The Knights got on the board first, as freshman midfielder Nicole Foley found the back of the net at the 25 minute mark. As if it was scripted, the Vikings came right back down the field to tie it back up as senior forward Makayla Lewis scored.
“I’m just so proud of my girls. We were on the other end of this [match up]last year, and we knew how it felt, and we didn’t want to feel that way again,” Loudoun Valley head coach Kerry Davidson said.
After halftime, the Knights controlled the ball on the offensive side of the field for much of the rest of the game. Loudoun Valley got off very few shots on goal throughout the second half and overtime.
“We were not full strength when we first played them, and we knew that. This is just so incredible,” Davidson said.
Contrary to the first half of the game, the Vikings drew first blood in the second half as a shot from junior midfielder Maddie Dale found its way through many legs and into the goal to give Loudoun Valley a big momentum-shifting score.
John Champe struggled to find the back of the net in many chances in the second half, but a big opportunity presented itself in the 74th minute. Sophomore midfielder Blair Thompson was awarded a penalty kick and beat the keeper to even up the game at 2-2.
Regulation was not enough time to determine our champion, and not even an overtime period was enough.
A freshman making her first appearance in a championship setting came up big for her Vikings. In the sudden victory overtime, midfielder Ally Major sprinted past the last line of Knight defense and buried a goal along the right post past senior goalkeeper Noelle St. Laurent to lift the Vikings to victory.
“It’s really exciting. We didn’t play so great [in the regular season matchup]and knew we needed to come back strong,” Major said. “There has been a little bit of a rivalry so most of us were already hyped up for this game.”
With the win, Loudoun Valley advances to host Brentsville District High School in a VHSL 3A East region quarterfinal, while the loss forces John Champe to travel to Culpeper County High School. Both games will be played on Monday, June 1.
25′ JC Nicole Foley
31′ LV Makayla Lewis
62′ LV Maddie Dale
74′ JC Blair Thompson (PK)
92′ LV Ally Major