Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy
|Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy||2|
STEPHENS CITY – Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy’s girls soccer team had a chance Thursday to go two-for-two against public high schools this week when the Patriots made the short trip across town to take on Sherando. The final result, SVCA sophomore Sarah Max said afterward, was almost as good as a win.
Each team struck for a pair of goals in the first half, then blanked each other the rest of the way as Sherando and SVCA fought to a 2-2 tie on a frigid night at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I’m just happy about how we played,” said Max, who has scored a goal in each of the Patriots’ first two matches, including Monday’s 4-2 win over James Wood. “I’m just glad that we got our intensity up. Sherando’s a great team. I love playing them. And it’s just a really fun game because they’re a really nice team too, just good competition and good fun.
“I’m just happy with how our team played so I find that as a win too.”
Count Sherando head coach Rob Kilmer, whose team fell to Tuscarora 5-0 earlier this week, among those who felt his team earned victories on the field Thursday even though the scoreboard said otherwise.
“We scored our first goals of the year, so that’s a bonus for us. And I had some girls grow up tonight,” Kilmer said. “I thought (freshman) Anna Buonocore in the middle for us was outstanding. It think in the second half (Abigail) Dodson marking (Max), I thought she grew up tonight. I think she was pretty good, her being a freshman as well. So we took some positive things from that.”
SVCA (1-0-1), a member of the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference, struck first in the opening half when Max got loose behind the defense, corralled a pass from her older sister, Hannah, in the middle of the penalty box and beat Warriors goalkeeper Kara Hendren (five saves) in a one-on-one opportunity in the 12th minute.
The Patriots’ lead lasted only six minutes, however, as Sherando (0-1-1) evened the score when Sydney Hunter’s shot from the right side of the penalty box glanced off an SVCA defender and snuck inside the near post.
The Warriors scored again in the 23rd minute to take a 2-1 lead when the ball was poked away from a Sherando player at the top of the box only to find its way to the foot of senior Taylor Fogarty, who fired a shot past SVCA keeper Rebekah Max (nine saves).
“I’ll take anything right now. I’ll take any goals,” Kilmer said.
“We played a good team,” he added of SVCA, winners of the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Division 2 championship last spring.
Sherando came within a minute of taking that 2-1 lead into halftime but SVCA senior Isabel Lauderback followed a diving save by Hendren with a goal in stoppage time to send the match into the break knotted at 2-2.
Lauderback’s shot was the last of 13 the Patriots fired in the first 40 minutes of action.
“We play a lot of good teams,” SVCA head coach Dustin Wheelock said, “and anytime that you can come out on the field and just play, tie some passes together and create some good looks at the goal – really creating good looks at the goal is what we can pull away.
“We had other chances that we could’ve scored or really should’ve scored. But (there are) some things we can fix too.”
Sherando, which fired 17 total shots in the game, did well to limit the Patriot’s offensive opportunities in the second half and overtime, as SVCA mustered just four shots in that span, including two in the second five-minute overtime period.
Kilmer said that was a product of the Warriors simply being more organized on defense and credited Sherando’s communication along its back line.
“I had basically two girls marking me the entire time,” Sarah Max said, “so that was a bit hard to navigate. But it was good because I got to work on my moves and stuff around a girl. And it’s just good to feel that intensity right on my back (by the defender) and I have to beat her and play a good ball.”
SVCA returns to action today at Heritage Academy, while Sherando travels to Harrisonburg for a Conference 21 West matchup next Wednesday.
Written By: staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Virginia Daily