Girls Soccer: Heritage Senior Kathryn Counts Nets Game Winner as the Pride Overcome Defensive Woes to Knock Off Titans in a Conference 21B Semifinal

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Photo by Mary Beth Pittinger

Photo by Mary Beth Pittinger

By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
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Leesburg (May 24, 2016) — When the Heritage High School and Dominion High School girls soccer teams met up on Friday night, May 20, in a Conference 21B semifinal, they knew it was a big game since whoever won would most likely face conference juggernaut Loudoun County High School in the conference championship.

During the 75th-minute, Heritage senior Kathryn Counts put it in the back of the net to give the Pride the 4-3 advantage and eventually seal the Pride’s trip to the conference championship for the second straight season.

Dominion senior Breanna Mitchell scored the second of three Titan goals in the second half as Dominion looked to complete a comeback against Heritage in a Conference 21B semifinal. Photo by Kyle Gotimer.

Dominion senior Breanna Mitchell scored the second of three Titan goals in the second half as Dominion looked to complete a comeback against Heritage in a Conference 21B semifinal. Photo by Kyle Gotimer.

“It was really nice to be able to finish off a game like that, especially because we have lost and tied our last few games after being up first half,” Counts said. “I realized the potential that this could be my last game as a senior so that really motivated me to work harder the last couple minutes and get another goal. I’m excited to move onto regionals and see what we can do as a team!”

In the first half, the Pride got out to a 3-0 lead including two goals within two minutes — one from junior Bryanna McDermott and the other from Counts — just 17 minutes into the contest.

“We came out really strong [in the first half], but something we’ve struggled with all season is finishing,” Heritage head coach Holly King said.”We have worked a lot on shooting and finishing, getting the crosses and being at the right place at the right time. It was really nice to start off like that.”

Heritage junior Abbey Massarelli helped her reigning VHSL 4A state runner up Pride to a 7-5-4 regular season in 2016 earning a VHSL 4A West region tournament berth. Photo by Mary Beth Pittinger.

Heritage junior Abbey Massarelli helped her reigning VHSL 4A state runner up Pride to a 7-5-4 regular season in 2016 earning a VHSL 4A West region tournament berth. Photo by Mary Beth Pittinger.

The Titans weren’t going to let their season slip away that easy as they would score three goals of their own to tie it during a seven-minute timeframe during the second half.

“We leaned heavily on our seniors,” Dominion head coach Michael Reles said. “As tempting as it was to pull some of the players out, they got us our only state championship, but we leaned heavily on them and they proved they were up to the task.”

Heritage will play Loudoun County — who defeated Loudoun Valley 5-0 on Friday — in the conference championship for the second straight year. The Conference 21B championship on Tuesday, May 24 at Loudoun County at 6 p.m.

Scoring:
15′ H Bryanna McDermott
17′ H Kathryn Counts
26′ H Erin Lindberg
57′ D Emma Shine
60′ D Breanna Mitchell
64′ D Own Goal
75′ H Kathryn Counts

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