Leesburg, Va. — The Loudoun County High School girls soccer team has won three of the last four VHSL 4A State championships and came into the 2019 season excited to defend their title. Then, early in the season, star forward and All-LoCo Player of the Year Taylor Kibble went down with an injury. The Raiders, however, have responded by turning in dominant performance after dominant performance, including a 6-1 win over crosstown-rival Heritage on April 10 in Leesburg.
“It’s always a very competitive game when we play Heritage,” Loudoun County head coach Olivia Mackey said. “We talk about physicality in all of our games. We wanted to play a 1-2 touch game tonight, because getting rid of the ball eliminates some of the physicality.”
Loudoun County spent the first 20 minutes of the game controlling time of possession, but they were unable to find the back of the net early. Then with just over 16 minutes left in the first half, junior midfielder Sydney Schnell gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead and opened the floodgates.
Schnell – who is committed to play at East Carolina alongside Kibble – added her second goal of the game six minutes later by way of penalty kick, and junior defender Maggie Sams added to the lead when she collected a rebound off a free kick just five minutes after that.
“When you play teams, you have to match your formation to the other team’s formation, and it always takes a few minutes to figure it out,” Mackey said. “Our girls do a really good job of figuring out how the other team is lined up and what’s going to click for this game. Once we figured it out, we were able to advantage of Heritage’s system.”
Heading into the half with a 3-0 lead, the Raiders were fired up and ready to go come the final 40 minutes. Midway through the second half, Schnell added her third and fourth goals of the night to give Loudoun County a commanding, 5-0, lead. With seven minutes remaining, freshman forward Maris Kern got in on the scoring action, putting the Raiders up 6-0.
Heritage got on the board late when senior midfielder Rayna Jannes put a header in, but the Pride’s effort fell short.
The Raiders – who were also without Duquesne-commit Brooke Kirstein against the Pride – continue to pour on the goals, having scored five or more goals in seven of their ten games this spring.
“We’re fortunate that we have a very deep bench,” Mackey said. “Other girls have taken on the responsibility and stepped up into the positions where we have injuries.”
Loudoun County (5-0-1, 9-0-1) will look to add to its six-game win streak after spring break when the Raiders host Woodgrove (4-0-2, 7-0-2) on April 22 in Leesburg. Heritage (2-3-0, 2-6-0) will look to bounce back when the Pride host Dominion (3-1-1, 4-1-3).
“Our girls have come into the season with very clear cut goals on what they want to accomplish at the end of this,” Mackey said. “Our seniors and our upperclassmen do a great job of leading our team and making sure we’re staying on top of those goals. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”
|Loudoun County||1H||16:37||Sydney Schnell|
|Loudoun County||1H||10:06||Sydney Schnell|
|Loudoun County||1H||5:06||Maggie Sams|
|Loudoun County||2H||21:56||Sydney Schnell|
|Loudoun County||2H||12:59||Sydney Schnell|
|Loudoun County||2H||7:13||Maris Kern|