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Battlefield Boys Soccer: Foxes, Cougars eye district title




The Battlefield District boys soccer tournament semifinals were delayed a day by thunder and lightning on Wednesday at Maury stadium.

More threatening skies interrupted the first game on Thursday for an hour late in the first half.

But as King George sophomore forward Christian Jones told a spectator at the conclusion of two thrilling finishes: “It was worth the wait.”

Courtland defeated arch-rival Chancellor 1–0 on a goal from freshman forward Jackson Taylor in stoppage time in the second half.

The top-seeded Cougars (12–2–3) will play No. 3 seed King George tonight at 7 p.m. for the district championship.

The Foxes secured their first-ever bid to the regional tournament with a 3–2 victory over Culpeper.

King George junior defender Matt Walsman scored in the 76th minute to propel the Foxes (11–5–1) to the win.

“This group has been extremely focused all year,” King George coach Jeff Butler said. “Our first goal was to get in the district tournament, and now that we’re here, we want to win it.”

The Foxes will have to get past the Cougars to complete their goal.

Courtland earned a 2–0 home victory over the Foxes recently. But the teams tied 2–2 at King George earlier this season.

“Absolutely it’s going to be a tough match,” Courtland first-year coach Kevin Berry said. “King George is a team with a lot of speed, and they are physical.”

If that’s the case, the Cougars should be prepared for the grind.

They picked up a hard-earned win over the Chargers on Thursday despite misfiring on several close attempts at goals.

The final flurry came in the closing minutes.

Courtland senior midfielder Jacob Patterson pounded the ground in frustration after a point-blank kick hit the top of the goal post.

Seconds earlier, another close attempt went awry.

Courtland was starting to feel the frustration until Taylor delivered, with a little help from his older brother.

Senior Luke Taylor provided the throw-in to assist his brother’s dramatic header.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun in the Taylor household tonight,” Berry said.

Luke said he pointed to Jackson shortly before the play to signal to him to be prepared.

Luke often serves as his little brother’s protector on the field, and when they connect like they did on Thursday, they call the play “Taylor Gang.”

“It’s nice to connect with my brother like that,” Jackson Taylor said. “It’s one of the great moments of my life.”

Walsman enjoyed his moment, too.

He scored his 11th goal of the season even though he plays defense.

King George also received goals from Jones and junior midfielder Dustin Moliner.

The Blue Devils were paced by two goals from sophomore midfielder Clay Metcalf.

Culpeper will try to lock up the district’s third bid to the Region I playoffs in the consolation game against Chancellor tonight at 5 p.m.

The Blue Devils (12–2–3) lost just one regular-season game. They defeated Chancellor once this season, and the teams tied in another meeting.

“Our guys for some reason thought tonight was the championship game,” Culpeper coach Tim Kearney said. “Who knows what type of mind-set we’ll bring [tonight]. We’ll have to see what a good night’s rest does.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526