- Hunter Hartnett scores the game-winner for Jamestown
- Potomac Falls led 1-0 before Jamestown's rally
- Patrick O'Brien nets the first goal for the Eagles
JAMES CITY -- It had been a frustrating night for Patrick O'Brien.
Doubled for most of the Jamestown boys soccer team's Group AA state quarterfinal match against Potomac Falls at James City County Stadium on Tuesday, O'Brien finally broke free for the Eagles' first goal with 31 minutes to play in the game. Two minutes later, Hunter Hartnett drilled the game-winner as Jamestown won 2-1 to advance to Friday's state semifinals at Radford University.
The Eagles will face the winner of Tuesday's Harrisonburg/Hidden Valley quarterfinal.
"It just energized the whole team," said O'Brien, who shielded a defender with his body, turned and fired a shot into the left corner of the net from 25 yards out. "We had the momentum on our side after that goal, and we knew we could get another one."
The Eagles (17-1-2) trailed 1-0 after Daniel Zambrano's rebound goal with 31 minutes left in the second half, and O'Brien was moved from sweeper to midfield in the last 25 minutes in an effort to get him more touches.
"It's very frustrating, but you can't let it get to your head," O'Brien said. "You've just got to keep playing. You might not touch the ball the whole game, but when you touch it, you have to make the most of it."
Two minutes after O'Brien did just that, Hartnett punched home Blaize Majdic's cross to put Jamestown up to stay.
"Immediately, once we scored, we got a little life back in us, and we realized we could step up and keep pressuring them," Eagles coach Bobby O'Brien, Patrick's older brother, said. "That's the name of our game. That's what we've lived by all year."
Hartnett's goal also earned him some redemption.
"Hunter had an awful game for the first 60 minutes," Bobby O'Brien said. "I pulled him out multiple times, and the last time I put him in, I said, 'You've got five more minutes to show me that you want to be here, because I'm tired of giving you chances.' That's what good players do. They rise to the occasion."
The Eagles had to survive some late drama, including David Becerra's shot that sailed just inches over the crossbar, and missed a golden chance to pad their lead when Potomac Falls keeper Ryan Howard stopped Dan Geyer's point-blank shot, then deflected his rebound attempt.
Becerra's apparent goal in the final seconds was waved off on an offside's call.
"They're throwing everything at you, and you're trying to keep everything out of there," Bobby O'Brien said. "He was definitely offside's. It was obvious. I'm glad it wasn't a little bit closer, because then the flag might stay down and you don't get that call."
Each team missed scoring chances in a scoreless first half, and Patrick Kelly's header off Ryan Tracy's direct kick was just high to open the second half.
After Zambian put Potomac Falls (13-9-1) ahead, and with time ticking down, Bobby O'Brien decided to shuffle Patrick's position.
"We moved him into the midfield so he could have a little bit more freedom and a little bit more space," the coach said. "He was able to step up into the attack, and instead of already having his back to the goal, he was able to face the goal. He made a great flip over the defender and a great turn and volley.
"That's the best goal we've scored all year. That's just individual effort. You can't coach that or draw that up anywhere. That's just talent."
Jamestown 2, Potomac Falls 1Halftime: 0-0. Goals: PF: Zambrano; Jamestown: O'Brien, Hartnett. Assists: Jamestown: Treacy, Majdic. Saves: PF: 5; Jamestown 7. Records: PF 13-9-1; Jamestown 17-1-2.
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