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The Cavaliers lose in OT to Turner Ashby and E.C. Glass outlasts Jefferson Forest.
MARK TAYLOR | The Roanoke Time
Lord Botetourt backup goalkeeper Tyler Kingma reacts to the game-winning goal Turner Ashby’s Kyle Becker scored three minutes into sudden-death overtime, ending the Cavaliers season.
MARK TAYLOR | The Roanoke Times
Lord Botetourt’s Matt Wilburn battles Turner Ashby’s Angel Bravo during Thursday’s late Region III semifinal match at William Byrd. Turner Ashby won 4-3 in sudden death overtime and will play E.C. Glass today at 6 p.m. for the championship.
Friday, May 31, 2013
The hugs lasted a little longer after this one. The goodbyes came with a few tears.
After a 13-match winning streak and some late-game theatrics, Lord Botetourt saw its charmed season end in heartbreaking fashion.
Kyle Becker pounded the game-winner into an empty net three minutes into sudden-death overtime, lifting Turner Ashby to a 4-3 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday in the Region III boys soccer semifinals at William Byrd.
“We gave it our all,” Botetourt keeper Robert Switzer said. “Nothing was left on this field. They’re great at putting the ball in on throw-ins and corners.
“They just crashed the goal at the right time. It happens.”
The Knights (16-2-2) face E.C. Glass in today’s 6 p.m. regional final at Waynesboro High School. The Hilltoppers advanced by beating Jefferson Forest 2-1 in Thursday’s early game.
After making save after save under siege in overtime, Switzer found himself hung out near the top of the 18-yard box, trying to corral a loose ball. Turner Ashby’s Jose Martinez played it to the right side to Dilmer Martinez, who briefly considered shooting.
Instead, he saw Becker alone in front and played a perfect cross.
“It came so fast,” Becker said. “I was just hoping to get a foot on it, redirect it and keep it on frame. I guess the rest just happened from there.”
Switzer watched helplessly as Becker’s shot was true.
“I came out, and they knocked it out,” Switzer said. “They put it right back in. They did a great job tonight.”
Botetourt’s Patrick Harris forced overtime by heading home the equalizer in the 77th minute off a long throw-in.
“That’s what’s been so great about the boys team this year: just their poise,” Cavaliers coach Tim Wright said. “When they’re down by one goal, two goals, they still have that composure. They know what they have to get done, and it’s not penetration, penetration. It’s possession, possession.”
Turner Ashby had taken the lead in the 60th minute when Becker struck the lower left corner of the net from a sharp angle – the Knights’ second goal in a two-minute span.
Kolbe Adams and Todd Johnson also scored for Botetourt (16-4), which went undefeated in the Blue Ridge District in Wright’s first season at the helm.
“They were very cohesive to my style of play,” Wright said. “They fit right into the formations that I brought to the table, and they embraced the sportsmanship that I embrace. This has been a solid core group of kids.”
In the other semifinal, E.C. Glass got goals from Nick Larson and Henrik Larsvik and held off a late JF charge to beat the Cavaliers (14-4-3) for the fourth time this season.
The series dominance this year was a sharp reversal of fortune for the Hilltoppers, who had lost to their Seminole District rival in the region final the previous two seasons.
“It’s been a long haul for these guys to get over that hump and beat those guys,” Glass coach Randy Turille said. “To do it four times this year was just amazing. I was not looking forward to today at all; I knew it was going to be tough.”
The narrow field at Byrd wasn’t well suited for the possession style favored by the Hilltoppers, who were playing without leading scorer Michael Kenny after the senior striker received a red card in a previous match.
“They had a lot of things going against them, and they outplayed us,” JF coach Jedd Zaring said. “They deserved to win.”
Matthew Crizer scored in the 77th minute for the Cavaliers to add drama to the end of the match, but JF couldn’t get the equalizer. Crizer had another chance in the 18th minute of a scoreless game, but banged his right-footed shot off the left post.
“That could have changed the entire game,” Crizer said. “When I hit it, I thought it was going in. As soon as it hit the post, my stomach fell.”
JF’s exit from the postseason came earlier than usual but wasn’t entirely unexpected, given Glass’ quality and the fact that 17 seniors graduated from last year’s region-champion team.
“We were inexperienced,” Zaring said. “But hey, I think everybody had us third or fourth in the district based on how much we graduated and how big those guys were over the last two years. I’m proud of them.”
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