Big senior class leads CHS boys soccer back to state semifinals

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Four years ago, the Charlottesville high school boys soccer team won the state championship for the second time in program history.

They never really got a chance to defend their title, as the season was canceled in 2020, and there was a shortened schedule last year.

CHS is back in the VHSL state semifinals this season, and they will take on Tabb in the Class-3 Final Four on Friday.

None of the players on the current roster played in the 2019 championship game, but the Knights say there is definitely a connection.

Senior midfielder Graham Lenert says, “I was watching it from the stands back up there, and I was thinking, ‘Dang, I want to be out there.’ So it feels good to get our chance at that. ”

Senior right back / left back Jude Fairchild adds, “We were all on the JV team at the time, looking up to them, like, ‘We really want that to be us,’ and now we’re on the road.”

It’ll be the first, and last, chance for the seniors.

They did not get to compete during their sophomore campaign, and the Knights were knocked out in the Region Semifinals in last year’s truncated season.

“Definitely kind of a redemption thing,” says Lenert. “Returning with 15, 16 seniors. It’s been on all of our minds all year, so just really trying to get revenge for that, and set a new story, as well. ”

Senior defensive mid / back Lucas Fuller says, “We have one big, team heart. Everyone is united, in that we know that we want a ring, so we’re going after it. ”

Fairchild adds, “I think our seniors, they’re really the core of this team, and I think it shows in the way we play.”

It’ll be a big weekend for the seniors.

They graduate on Thursday night, and with the semifinals on Friday Morning in Spotsylvania County, the team will get on the road immediately after graduation, and stay at a hotel before the big match.

“That will be a fun experience to share with the guys,” says Fuller, “and then get out there early, and get our legs ready. It’ll be good. ”

Lenert says, “Neutral site games, it’s just whomever wants it more. All advantages are taken off. Neither team knows the field, which is nice, but at the end of the day, it’s just about going out there and working hard, and that’s what we’ve been trying to instill in ourselves all year. ”

Charlottesville will take on Tabb on Friday at 11 AM at Courtland High School.

If they win, they advance to Saturday’s championship match.

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