By Kevin Smith
Playing for the third straight day in heat exceeding 80 degrees, the Chaos (De) and Elite (Va) squared up in a match with the title on the line in the Virginian’s U13 Premier Bronze girls division.
Championship matches can be funny games, with the expectation that the final two teams in a tournament will be evenly matched, it is not unusual to get a laugher, a game where one team is hopelessly outmatched by the other. This was not one of those.
With about two minutes left in the first half, the Chaos pressed hard, keeping the Elite from clearing their zone on multiple goal kicks, but failed to capitalize before the half. After spending 35 minutes trading attacks, spectators of the two teams were left to wonder whether the game wouldn’t come down to which team made a mistake.
The second half was more of the same, as the two squads took turns pushing the ball up the field.
After finishing regulation in a 0-0 tie, the two teams pushed into overtime. After a scoreless ten minutes that saw Reston repeatedly press deep into Chaos territory, parents, fans and officials were likely speculating that penalty kicks were in the future of these two team. Entering the second overtime, Reston continued to apply the pressure, but struggled to finish, with forward Caitlin West kicking high on the team’s first attack of the half.
Kicks were not fated in this game, as with three minutes left, Reston’s Danny Huber, whom coach Helen Long describes as, “the heart of our team,” took advantage of a crowd in front of the Chaos goal, and tapped in the winner off an assist from Sarah Davis. The single goal was all it took for the Elite to capture the title.