By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (May 24, 2016) — After No. 5 Loudoun County High School beat No. 4 Dominion High School in penalty kicks in a Conference 21B quarterfinal, the Raiders knew they’d be in for a test when they faced No. 1 Heritage High School on Friday, May 20 in a Conference 21B semifinal.
In the 77th-minute, Pride sophomore Michael Diehl put the ball in the back of the net to all but seal the, 4-3, victory.
“What I really love about this team is that they refuse to lose,” Heritage head coach Betsy Munson said. “We’ll just click it on. The intensity level just goes if we get down a goal or they tie; we just always find a way to win. I’m really proud that every game someone else steps up like Michael [Diehl] did tonight.”
Pride junior — and recent Binghamton-commit — Kosta Nika scored two goals of his own — one in the 16th-minute and the other in the 63rd-minute — to help build the Pride’s lead.
“I had a lot of support from my teammates and they set me up for two goals and I was able to score,” Nika said.
Loudoun County forced Heritage to play a different game after Raider senior Aidan Balac scored within the game’s first two minutes.
“I knew they were going to give us their all because obviously their season was going to be over,” Munson said. “I got to give a lot of credit to Loudoun County — coming in as the No. 5 seed — knocking off Dominion first and then coming in here ready from the beginning.”
Loudoun County went on to score two more goals — including one by senior Addison Carson in the closing minutes — but the goals weren’t enough as the Pride defense came up big after a blunder that gave up that big goal to close it out.
Heritage will face No. 2 Park View in the Conference 21B championship on Tuesday, May 24 at Heritage at 6 p.m.
2′ LC Aidan Balac
7′ H Gio Vasquez
16′ H Kosta Nika
63′ H Kosta Nika
67′ LC PK Ben Mackey
77′ H Michael Diehl
78′ LC Addison Carson