Blacksburg started out slow allowing 2 JF goals in the first 8 minutes but quickly battled back to score in the 10th minute on a Georgia Halkidis cornerkick to Sarah Linkenhoker. From that point forward Blacksburg could not find the equalizer despite putting pressure on the Jefferson Forest defense in the final 10 minutes.
Kinsey Verbrugge made 5 saves while the JF Keeper made 3 saves. Blacksburg recorded 11 shots to 5 shots for JF. Blacksburg recorded 3 corner kicks to 3 for JF.
Quoted from the Roanoke Times.
Special Thanks to The Roanoke Times
FOREST — Never mind the trophy.
For Jefferson Forest girls soccer coach Matt Newton, that wasn’t the real reward of Thursday’s Region 4D championship match; a chance to host the state quarterfinal was the more coveted prize.
“That is really what you’re playing for, in a sense,” Newton said, holding the regional title trophy after his Cavaliers’ tense 2-1 victory over Blacksburg at Sabre Stadium.
Trips to the state tournament are nothing new for JF and Blacksburg. Thursday’s matchup was a battle of traditional regional powers — Jefferson Forest boasting a 20-0 record and trying to defend last year’s 4A state title; Blacksburg (17-3-1) winners of three straight 3A championships between 2014 and 2016 — and they played like it.
Both teams made big plays early, the Cavaliers being the first to do so. In the fifth minute, Olivia Magenbauer split Bruin defenders with a dribble into the box and fired a shot across into the right side of the goal for a 1-0 Jefferson Forest lead.
Minutes later, Magenbauer hustled down a loose ball and crossed it into the box, where fellow junior Sophia Palladino was there to finish it.
“We came out just as hard as we did against Salem,” Magenbauer said, referencing the Cavaliers’ 3-1 victory Tuesday over Salem in a reboot of last year’s state title match.
But Blacksburg battled right back as Georgia Halkidas fired a corner kick that found Sarah Linkenhoker’s head and then nylon for a 10th-minute goal.
“I thought we responded very well getting the goal off the corner … and then played a pretty even match after,” Bruins coach Travis Eschenmann said.
Even indeed. Both teams mustered chances in the remaining time, but defenses held fast to preserve the one-goal Jefferson Forest lead.
For Blacksburg, in its first year after moving up to Class 4, a trip to the state tournament is exciting but not unexpected.
“I think we take some pride in what we’ve done here,” Eschenmann said, “and I think there is an expectation that we’re going to compete with anybody we step on the field with.”
Newton, as his team chases perfection with that yet-unblemished record, would have liked to see his team add another goal.
“We got hot and then sort of let off,” he said. “I wish we had knocked the ball a little better the rest of the time.”
That perfect mark still looms large in print, the Cavs’ coach admitted. “We try not to think about it,” Newton said. “You prepare for the next game and try to prepare for that.”
But Magenbauer admitted the JF team is all-in, chasing perfection. “It’s a little bit of pressure,” she allowed. Win No. 20 earned them a trophy. And they’ll get a chance to earn No. 21 in front of their own fans. “That’s exciting,” Magenbauer said through a smile. “We’re on our home turf.”