Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Patrick Henry

Owen Stewart, Sports Editor

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When sophomore Anthony Lopez managed to bury a long free kick in the back of the net with just under three minutes to play, all of the momentum swung towards Harrisonburg as they cut a two goal deficit to one. The elation didn’t last long however as the referee, at the vehement displeasure of fans and players, called the Streaks offsides, nullifying the goal and essentially ending any chance HHS had of making a comeback in their regional quarterfinal game against Patrick Henry on Friday night, which ended in a 3-2 Patriots victory and knocked the Streaks’ out of the playoffs.

The game didn’t start in inspiring fashion for Harrisonburg, as Patrick Henry grabbed the upper hand quickly. Just five minutes into the game, a shot bounced off of Harrisonburg goalkeeper Joshua Antonio, and after a scramble just outside the 6-yard box, the Patriots punched it past Antonio to go ahead 1-0.

Just 12 minutes later, Patrick Henry extended the lead to 2-0. A long Patriot throw-in worked its way inside the Streaks defense and ended up in the net on a header, stunning a large and energetic Streaks student section.

The Streaks were plagued by missed opportunities throughout the game. Inopportune turnovers in the midfield area, a couple of blocked free kicks and a pair of poorly struck shots led to Harrisonburg being held scoreless for the entire first half, and the first 20 minutes of the second.

However, with 20:33 remaining, senior Sajjad Imran was brought down inside the 18-yard box by a harsh tackle, which resulted in a penalty kick goal by senior Missael Orpineda-Torres, cutting the lead to 2-1. Against a tiring Patrick Henry defense, Harrisonburg had a few chances to tie the game in the next five minutes, but just seconds after junior Micah Yutzy missed wide left on a free kick, Patrick Henry broke away from the HHS defense and poked another goal past Antonio, making the score 3-1 with 16 minutes left.

Despite the two goal deficit, the Streaks wouldn’t give up the fight. Yutzy earned a free kick with 14 minutes left, which was blocked, and a long breakaway pass sailed just out of the reach of junior Eric Ramirez a couple minutes later. When Lopez’s free kick from near midfield found the net, it appeared the Streaks had broken through, but the offsides call was given, and even a last minute goal from sophomore Jonathan Pulido wasn’t quite enough, as time ran out with Patrick Henry clinging to possession.

With the victory, Patrick Henry advances to the regional semifinals, and a win will clinch them a berth in the state tournament.

 

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