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Northwest Region boys soccer: Eagles enjoy taste of postseason
Northwest Region boys soccer: Colonial Forge 3, Battlefield 1
BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH
The Colonial Forge boys soccer team is not used to this. The Eagles are not accustomed to winning district titles or hosting regional games, as they did on Monday evening.
So on Sunday, Eagles midfielder Kevin Roberts reached out to some friends at North Stafford who won a state title last season. He asked them for some suggestions.
“They said the biggest thing was striking early,” Roberts said, “so the people on the other team are like, ‘Wow, they’re ready to play.’”
In the huddle before Colonial Forge’s Northwest Region quarterfinal against Battlefield, Roberts shared this bit of advice with his teammates.
Then, less than one minute into the game, Roberts gathered a loose ball and uncoiled a long, blistering shot into the goal.
Just like that, the tone was set, just as the North Stafford players had suggested. Just like that, the Eagles had confidence, and maybe the Bobcats had doubts.
Colonial Forge held on for a 3–1 win and will visit Freedom–South Riding in a regional semifinal on Wednesday.
Despite their win against Battlefield, the Eagles were hardly pleased afterward. They said their play was sluggish, and their coaches said a similar effort later in the playoffs would end their season.
“It was a little uninspiring, and that was disappointing to see,” head coach Jeremy Sargent said. “We had enough moments to carry the day, but we need a better collective effort.”
Roberts, the Commonwealth District player of the year, had two goals to lead Colonial Forge (18–2). Tim Clancy added a goal and an assist.
In the 20th minute, Clancy fired a corner kick from the left flag, but it was blown dead by the referee because the Eagles were making a substitution.
On the kick, Roberts noticed that Battlefield failed to cover the near goalpost. Before the re-kick, he made eye contact with Clancy and pointed toward the post. Clancy nodded.
This time, Roberts faked toward the far post, streaked toward the near post and used the outside of his right foot to knock the ball into the net.
Battlefield pulled within 2–1 when Alvaro Concha headed in a corner kick in the 36th minute, but the Bobcats were unable to get any closer.
Colonial Forge added an insurance goal in the 71st minute, as Manuel Madrid penetrated Battlefield’s defense well into the penalty box. The ball ended up at the feet of Clancy, who made a nice spin move and scored from close range.
“I got kind of lucky on that one,” Clancy said with a smile.
But the Eagles know luck is unlikely to carry them through this tournament and beyond. That is part of the reason there were few smiles or pats on the back when this game ended.
“We need to come out and have a real clean practice Tuesday,” Clancy said, “and be ready to play mentally and physically. I think we’ll be fine.”
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442