“The biggest part of the message was just to stay calm,” Yorktown midfielder Shay Montgomery said. “A lot of times in those moments, that’s when things get frantic and people panic.”
Yorktown’s defense strengthened for the remainder of its 2-1 win at Champe High in Aldie, halting the Pioneers’ momentum by prohibiting them from getting near the goal again.
The Arlington powerhouse qualified for its third state championship game in the past five postseasons. The Patriots (21-1-1) will face Kellam – which shocked South County in the other semifinal – on Saturday at noon at Freedom High in South Riding.
“They’ve just been playing incredibly these last couple of games,” Yorktown Coach Hannah Davis said. “We’ve got this momentum, I think, to win it all.”
Since the start of the Liberty District playoffs in mid-May, Yorktown has outscored its seven opponents 17-1. The Patriots haven’t lost since their season opener March 14.
Still, at halftime of Yorktown’s regional championship game against Oakton on June 1, its players stressed while locked in a scoreless match. Yorktown ended up winning by a goal, but since then the Patriots have discussed starting fast before leaning on one of Virginia’s best defenses. Yorktown followed that advice against Patriot (15-5-3), when Montgomery scored on a breakaway just over five minutes in.
The Patriots added to their lead with 12:40 remaining when midfielder Nora Green-Orset scored on forward Moira Flynn’s cross in the box. Momentum swung with 7:34 left when Brock headed a corner kick into the back of the net.
“It definitely was frustrating just because we hadn’t given up a goal in so long,” said Montgomery, a South Carolina commit. “But going into big games like this, we’re more aware that there’s other really good teams that are going to score. The most important part was just responding well. ”
Yorktown stood firm behind its experienced core, setting up a championship match against a familiar foe.
The Patriots went through Kellam (18-1) to win their state championships in 2017 and 2019. The Virginia Beach program’s defense has been just as strong as Yorktown’s, having allowed three opponents to score this season.
Kellam’s offense also shined in its 3-1 win over reigning champion South County, which suffered its first loss since June 2019. Forward Chloe Limbach scored on a free kick in the fourth minute and on a breakaway five minutes into the second half, putting South County (21-1-1) in a rare position of having to play from behind.
South County entered Friday having scored multiple goals in all but three games, and its offense came alive in the 53rd minute. Defender Taylor Kurz’s chip shot from outside the box settled into the top left corner of the net.
But Limbach erased her Fairfax County opponent’s hopes after her third goal with 9:52 remaining. For the first time, many South County players wiped tears with their navy blue jerseys as they walked off the field and their opponent stormed it.
“We knew losing at some point was inevitable,” South County Coach Nina Pannoni said. “Being undefeated as long as we were is very rare. Even today, we went down early, but we were still confident in the girls and the way they play that we can make a comeback.
“It’s going to be harder on the girls because they haven’t lost in a while. The next time we step on the field together, they’ll just be ready to go and get to work. ”
Class 5: Briar Woods hangs 7
In the Class 5 semifinals, Briar Woods cruised by Cox, 7-1, in Ashburn, behind attacker Taylor Price’s hat trick. The Falcons (19-0-2) set up a rematch of last year’s championship game against First Colonial at noon on Saturday in Ashburn.
Briar Woods fell to the Virginia Beach contender in penalty kicks last year. The Loudoun County program is seeking its first championship since 2018.
Class 4: Tuscarora, Broad Run advance
Tuscarora and Broad Run will meet in the Class 4 championship game after both Loudoun County programs won their semifinals at Chancellor High in Fredericksburg.
The Huskies beat Smithfield, 1-0; the Spartans defeated Atlee, 3-0. Tuscarora (18-3-1) has won two of its three meetings against Broad Run (14-7), including a 1-0 win in the region championship game June 3. They will play again at 12:30 pm Saturday in Fredericksburg .
Class 3: Brentsville District falls
In the Class 3 semifinals, Brentsville District fell to Hidden Valley, 1-0, in double-overtime at Courtland High in Spotsylvania. It was the Prince William County team’s first loss.