Spotswood High edged Lord Botetourt in the opening round of the Region 3A West soccer tournament Monday in Daleville. The 1-0 loss ended LB’s season after the Cavaliers won the Conference 31 tournament last week at Northside.
“At this point in the tournament, every team is good,” said LB coach Tim Wright. “Spotswood played a solid game and were dominant in the air and on set pieces. We didn’t lose ’cause we didn’t play well. We showed that we deserved to be there.”
Spotswood scored off a corner kick midway through the second half, and that was the difference in the game. It was a tough loss for the Cavaliers, who won the conference title last Thursday at Northside with an upset win over the host team, 3-2.
LB defeated Magna Vista, 4-1, in the semifinal round to set up the game with Northside. The Vikings were undefeated in the regular season, allowing only four goals in 17 games.
“We knew we had a fight ahead, but my guys were hungry,” said Wright. “We drastically improved from the first to the second time we played them in the regular season.”
During the regular season, the Cavaliers went 0-2 against the Vikings with a penalty kick deciding the outcome of the second game.
“Prior to this game we focused on our defensive approach as a way to minimize the damage of their powerhouse offense,” said Wright. “We also looked at how this particular defensive approach can really set the tone for our offense. It is all centered around dictating the game without the ball.”
Corey Hackett had all three goals for the Cavaliers and goalkeeper Bryson Sanchez had a career game with several spectacular saves. He also stoned the Vikings on a penalty kick.
“It was a collective effort led by Hackett and Sanchez that resulted in a trophy,” said Wright.
With Monday’s loss the Cavaliers finished the season at 13-5-1. They’ll graduate just four seniors.
“To start the season our star attacking player was out for the season, followed by three more injuries during the regular season that took starters out for games,” said Wright. “We simply were a young team from the get go, and each injury made us younger. In the midst of that to see the development that occurred makes it all worth it. That is what it is ultimately about.”
The All-Conference team was announced after the tournament and first team honors went to senior Blake Johnson, juniors Blake Myers and Isaac DeHart and sophomores Matt Smith and Trey Rice. Named to the second team were senior Corey Hackett and juniors Jacob Booth and Bryson Sanchez.