Ashburn, Va. — After watching their girls team hold off Potomac Falls High School in the girls title match, the Briar Woods High School boys soccer team completed the Falcons’ sweep of Potomac District tournament championships, defeating John Champe High School, 7-2, on May 25.
“After these past few weeks, we’ve gained a lot of confidence,” Briar Woods senior captain Aidan Sullivan said. “We’re looking really strong going into the next round of playoffs.”
Just seven minutes into the game, Briar Woods senior forward Juan Batista put his team up 1-0 when he beat the John Champe keeper crossing in front of the net.
However, less than four minutes later, John Champe senior forward Connor Hester tied things up. Hester’s goal was the first time the Knights had scored against the Falcons in their three matchups this season.
John Champe couldn’t hold off the Falcons’ offense for long as Briar Woods junior midfielder Mason Shockley put his team back up one, just five minutes after Hester’s goal.
Headed into the half, leading 2-1, Briar Woods was confident in its strategy and decided instead to simply make some personnel changes.
“We made a lot of personnel changes [in the second half],” Briar Woods head coach Francois Bernard said. “But there was no need to change our strategy because of where it has brought all season.”
Those changes paid off 15 minutes into the second half when the Falcons put the game out of the reach by way of four unanswered goals.
Like in the first half, Batista got the second half scoring started. Briar Woods junior midfielder John Flynn, sophomore midfielder Fii Essiam and freshman forward Zach Miller then added to the Falcons’ commanding lead.
“I think we need to continue to have the same attitude,” said Sullivan, who was named the Potomac District Player of the Year. “Nothing is given, and we need to continue to put in the work.”
Both Briar Woods and John Champe will advance to play in the VHSL Region 5C tournament starting the week of May 28.