Region 4D West Semi Final

VHSL May 31, 2022 - 7:00 pm
Blacksburg High School


Club1st Half2nd HalfScoreOutcome
Western Albemarle000Loss


Blacksburg defeated Western Albemarle by a score of 1-0 to advance to the Region 4D Championship and secure a bid in the VHSL State Tournament.  In the 25th minute, Mila Santsaver-Jones served a corner kick finding Kallan Malabad for the game winning goal.

Western outshot Blacksburg 16 to 7 on the evening. Blacksburg’s Paige Miller recorded 7 saves to earn the shutout while Western’s keeper stepped up with 2 big saves. Blacksburg recorded 2 corner kicks and Western had 4 corner kicks.

Quoted from the Roanoke Times.

BLACKSBURG — A last name like Malabad just has to spell trouble.

It certainly did for visiting Western Albemarle in the Region 4D girls soccer semifinal as Blacksburg’s Kallan Malabad scored the lone goal on a first-half header as the undefeated Bruins notched a 1-0 victory over the Warriors.

Blacksburg’s defense, which has allowed just three goals all season, made it stand up as the Bruins (18-0) advanced to Thursday’s region final against Salem, and more importantly qualified for the VHSL Class 4 state tournament.

The showdown between two of the state’s perennial powers was scoreless until 15 minutes, 59 seconds remained in the first half when Malabad connected on a header off a corner kick by Mila Santsaver-Jones.

“The Western [defender] was marking two people so I was basically free running in,” said Malabad, a sophomore midfielder. “I just ran my back-post run and the ball was right there.

“It felt amazing. We were all ecstatic on the field.”

Santsaver-Jones put the ball on the money, but not before one of the officials made her put the ball in the corner circle after she first set it in front of the legal position.

“It was the first time [in 2022] they’ve noticed so I was definitely taken aback, but it ended up working out in the end,” she said.

“I was definitely aiming for the back post and Kallan is normally there every time,” she said.

Western Albemarle (12-3-3) came in having lost only to Class 5 Albemarle. The Warriors also won Class 3 state titles in 2017, ‘18, ‘19 and ‘21 before moving up to Class 4 this year.

Western coach Jake Desch was plenty familiar with Blacksburg, which won three consecutive Class 3 state championships from 2014-16 under veteran coach Travis Eschenmann and reached the Class 4 semifinals last year, losing to eventual champ Dominion.

“Blacksburg has got one of the best coaches in the state and one of the best programs,” Desch said. “When you’re playing them, you know you’re getting few opportunities. They finished one of their few chances and they won.
“In a game of this magnitude with a program as good as they are, we talked about scoring ugly goals and we just couldn’t do it.”

The visitors had several second-half opportunities. What wasn’t shot just wide was swallowed up by Blacksburg sophomore goalkeeper Paige Miller.

Blacksburg, which defeated Western to win one of its three state championships, knew the Warriors’ reputation when the Charlottesville-area team moved up to Class 4.

We were definitely attentive to them. To keep [an eye] out for what their players were doing, but we were ready to play them.”

Blacksburg has a day to prepare for Salem. The Bruins have beaten the Spartans three times, but Salem scored one of the three goals Blacksburg has surrendered this year in a 2-1 game May 18 in the River Ridge District tournament championship.
Will the pressure mount on unbeaten Blacksburg?

“I think we can handle it if it does,” Santsaver-Jones said.


Date Time League Season
May 31, 2022 7:00 pm VHSL 2022


Blacksburg High School
3401 Bruin Ln, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA


1Paige Miller Goalkeeper
11Mila Santsaver-Jones Midfielder
18Kallan Malabad Defender