By Spencer DuPuis
Leesburg (May 28, 2015) — On a hot, sunny evening in Leesburg, the girls soccer teams from Heritage High School and Loudoun County High School met on Tuesday, May 26 to claim the Conference 21 tournament title and get a shot for home field advantage in the VHSL 4A North region tournament. In their two previous meetings Loudoun County beat Heritage 2-0 on April 10 and 2-1 on April 21.
This game was much like the April 10 meeting, as the Lady Raiders blanked the Lady Pride 2-0.
In the 10th-minute, Loudoun County senior Emily Littell took a shoot straight on from 25 yards out and scored off a high-arching shot that Heritage senior goal keeper Zoe Foxhall could not get all of as it slid under the top bar.
“It was the first time I had touched the ball,” the George Mason commit Littell said. “I wanted this team to win so [badly], so I just hit it as hard as I could and hoped for the best. It ended up being a really good shot.”
For the next 20 minutes, the game brought a chippy feel with a couple back and forth chances that were stopped by both goal keepers. Raiders sophomore Allyson Brown got a chance at a penalty kick in the 16th-minute, but missed it high over the net.
In the 31st-minute, Pride senior forward Christina Carlston got through the Raiders defense and got a shot on Raiders junior goal keeper Hannah McShea. But as McShea was coming out to grab the ball Carlston was going in and their legs got tangled up sending them both to the ground. Carlston popped back up, but McShea did not and was later carted off the field. Her replacement-senior Lacy Caviness-was not fazed and continued the shut out for the last 49 minutes.
“Lacy is a four-year player so she is used to the pressure,” Raiders coach Kirk Smith said. “She along with our other two [keepers]have played this season. She is always ready to step in when needed, so it was nothing new to Lacy.”
In the 58th-minute, Littell added another goal which solidified the Raiders win as the defense and Caviness finished the shutout for the Raiders.
“I was put on the right side more tonight, which I haven’t played a lot,” Littell said. “I really just wanted to get the cross in there, but again it ended up being a nice shot.”
The win sealed Loudoun County the Conference 21 tournament title and a chance to play in front of their home fans in the VHSL 4A North region tournament starting on Monday, June 1, but their opponent has not been determined yet.
“It is definitely great,” Smith said. “We love playing at home. Sometimes when we’ve gotten this far we have to travel all over the place, which is hard on the players. It’s just nice that we get to have a [region]game on this nice new field. We play a width game as is seen with all the shots we take from the outside, so not to be on too small of a field is really good for us.”
Although the Pride’s Foxhall gave up two goals in the loss she managed to save the 20 other shots, some of which were hard shots. The Lady Pride were without leading scorer Cori Carlston, who was sidelined by an ankle injury. They hope she will can be back as they travel for the start of the VHSL 4A North region tournament on Monday, June 1.
10’ LC Emily Littell
58’ LC Emily Littell
Spencer DuPuis is a junior at Heritage High School in Leesburg. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.