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Northside and Jefferson Forest hang on to slim leads in Thursday's Region III semifinals.
Friday, May 31, 2013
LYNCHBURG — Northside’s girls soccer team knows fitness, stamina and endurance so well, coach Corey Fobare says they joke that they’re a track team. That endurance paid off with a trip to the state tournament as the Vikings were able to outlast Harrisonburg 1-0 in the a Region III semifinal Thursday.
Northside faces Jefferson Forest in tonight’s regional final at Lynchburg’s City Stadium. JF defeated Lord Botetourt 1-0 .
The Vikings (13-5-2) protected a lead for most of the game. In the seventh minute, senior striker Emma Wade took the ball on the 18-yard line near the right corner of the penalty box and spun to her right, launching a cannon shot with her left foot that flew past a surprised goalkeeper and into the left side of the net.
As both offenses struggled to mount any sustained pressure, the Vikings made the goal stand up, shutting out the Blue Streaks (15-4-1).
As Harrisonburg grew desperate, the Vikings were able to maintain ball pressure and hold possession long enough to demonstrate that the best defense is a good offense.
The Streaks did not have a quality scoring chance in the last 25 minutes.
“We’re young on the back line but they’re developing,” Fobare said. “We fought through it. We gave up eight corners in the first half and one in the second. And we cleaned it all up. We don’t like to give up corners or set pieces off fouls, but you can give them up if you clean the ball out of the box.”
Goalkeeper Kelsey Altizer had four saves and got help from the goal post on a Sara Shenk-Moreno shot that rocketed off the frame just three minutes after Northside took the lead.
The Streaks controlled the tempo in the second part of the first half and through the opening 15 minutes of the second, but Northside allowed few scoring chances, clearing the ball and holding possession as the clock bled away .
“We joke about it, but games like this is what we drive that fitness for. The 40 minutes of the second half, we’re up a goal and we want to keep the ball in their end,” Fobare said.
The Vikings will be making their second trip to the Group AA state quarterfinals in the last three years.
Jefferson Forest ended Lord Botetourt’s season in the same manner — scoring a single goal early and making it stick.
Jefferson Forest (17-2-1) got a goal from Riley Lee in the 14th minute when a cross by Danielle Tiffany bounced between Botetourt players and got behind goal keeper Mariah Martin. In the scramble, Lee found herself in the goal. She reached her foot across the goal line and dragged the ball back to her just before Martin could grab it.
Jefferson Forest outshot Lord Botetourt 19-3 and limited LB to only two scoring opportunities. Goal keeper Allie Gossen was beaten just once when Gretchen Goldsmith got behind the defense and juked Gossen 10-yards out, but her shot rolled just outside the left post.
JF head coach Stan Golon had nothing but praise for the game both teams played, especially the defensive efforts.
“They really put pressure on us, especially at the end, and that says a lot about a team,” Golon said.
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