RIDGEWAY — Hidden Valley’s Paige Sanchez lined up a direct free kick just outside the penalty box late in the first half of Friday’s Region 3D girls soccer game.
Magna Vista’s players waited.
The junior forward drilled a crossing shot into the left side of the goal for her second score of the first half while the Warriors stood frozen.
Magna Vista never recovered and Hidden Valley left the Smith River Complex with a 7-1 victory to earn a home game Monday in the VHSL Class 3 semifinals.
Sanchez’s goal was a major turning point in the game.
Sanchez said the official told her the ball was in play, but Magna Vista’s defenders obviously believed they had time to set up a protective wall.
“He told me that I could go whenever I wanted, and I saw an opening there and nobody was paying any attention,” Sanchez said. “I knew the more I waited, the more they were going to be set up.”
Magna Vista coach Wes Lewis disagreed with the call and eventually drew a red card, forcing his ejection from the field.
Lewis did not wish to address the matter, but he was quick to praise Hidden Valley.
“It’s an unbelievable program at Hidden Valley, unbelievable,” Lewis said. “We played them a couple years ago and it was very obvious in that game that we weren’t there.
“They gave us the awakening we needed. Are we there yet? We’re not quite there.”
Magna Vista (12-1) kept the game scoreless for 35 minutes before Sanchez struck from the left side.
With time ticking away in the half, Hidden Valley made it 3-0 on a rebound by Rissa Dragovich off the goalkeeper.
The Titans poured it on in the second half as uber-talented midfielder Makayla Metzler scored twice, and Kayla Fedison and Emma Janes added one apiece.
Metzler, a Roanoke College signee, controlled the action at midfield for much of the game.
“Makayla could have gone Division I if she wanted,” Hidden Valley coach Cory Carroll said. “She chose to go to Roanoke so her family could watch her play. She’s going to be a difference-maker in [the] ODAC.”
Magna Vista broke up the shutout with a last-minute goal on a 20-yard shot by Shanyah Spencer.
The Warriors showed some flashes, moving the ball upfield with their possession game featuring 30-goal scorer Morgan Smith.
“It was a good game,” Carroll said. “Magna Vista’s got some good players. I knew it was going to be a difficult game. I watched some game film. I was impressed.”
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