YORK — Two York County soccer teams earned the opportunity to play for Group AA state tournament berths by winning their Region I quarterfinals on Tuesday at Bailey Field.
Grafton's boys overcame a rash of injuries to some of their best players to beat Chancellor 1-0. The Clippers will play a semifinal at Culpeper at 7 p.m. Thursday, with the winner earning a spot in the state quarterfinals.
York's girls dominated Spotsylvania but needed two goals in the final 17 minutes of the second half to pull out a 2-1 victory. The Falcons will play in the semifinals on Thursday against the winner of the Tabb-Courtland game, which was postponed to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday because of lightning at Courtland.
York is on the road if Courtland wins and at Bailey Field if Tabb wins.
York girls 2, Spotsylvania 1
York (13-2-1) carried the attack to the Spotsylvania end of the field virtually the entire game, but needed two goals in the final 17 minutes to rally past Spotsylvania. Kisa Reck, a German exchange student, played a key role in both York goals.
The Falcons outshot the Knights 10-2 in the first half en route to outshooting them 23-3 for the game. But it was Spotsylvania (12-6-1) that took the lead with 4 minutes, 29 seconds, left in the first half, on a shot from 25 yards by Kylie McKeen that skidded off of a York defender's leg at the goal line.
For all of the pressure they applied, the Falcons were not particularly aggressive to the ball for most of the game. That changed when Reck netted a free kick from 30 yards to tie the game at 1 with 16:59 remaining in the second half.
"Until I scored that goal, I was concerned," Reck said. "After that, we had more intensity and we kept it up."
The trio of Michelle Shin, Reck and Jennifer Pandolf began to string their passes together beautifully, and combined for the winning goal with 8:20 remaining. Shin started the play with a run from the Spotsylvania end. She passed to Reck, who passed to Pandolf, who scored from 17 yards.
"Kisa and I play real well together," Pandolf said after scoring her 32nd goal of the season. "It would be real exciting if we could go to states, a nice senior thing."
Falcons coach Tom Finley said that six of his seniors were freshmen when they lost to Jamestown in 2010 with a state berth on the line: Pandolf, twin sister Ashley Pandolf, Jenna Kinney, Laura Wiggins, Kamryn Comer and Elaine Santiago.
YORK 2, SPOTSYLVANIA 1
Half: Spotsylvania 1-0. Goals: Spotsylvania, McKeen; York, Reck, J. Pandolf. Assist: York, Reck. Shots: York 23, Spotsylvania 3. Records: Spotsylvania 12-6-1, York 13-2-1.
Grafton boys 1, Chancellor 0
The Clippers (16-1-3) made a goal by Michael Bly with four minutes remaining in the first half hold up the rest of the way behind solid defensive play. Bly broke the scoreless tie on a breakaway after gathering a clearance from defender SoYoung Park.
Park, Ryan Hurry, Brian Singletary and Dom DiGangi did great work defensively for the Clippers, who posted their sixth shutout of the season. Ditto for goalie Jay Fox, who made a difficult save early in the second half.
The Clippers broke down only once defensively, with about 10 minutes to go in the second half, leaving Cameron Williams with an open goal from about 15 yards. But Williams' shot rolled just wide of the far post.
Grafton survived without injured All-Bay Rivers District standouts Brian Anderson and Michael Trepte in the midfield, and Sean Breen on defense. Brett Butz did a nice job in their stead in center-midfield, while Bly starred up front.
"(Bly) did a great job at goalie and now he's doing a great job up top," Grafton coach Paul Sidhu said. "Hopefully we'll get a couple of our injured players back for the regional semifinal."
GRAFTON 1, CHANCELLOR 0
Half: 1-0. Goal: Bly. Assist: Park. Shots: Grafton 14, Chancellor 7. Records: Chancellor 11-5-3, Grafton 16-1-3.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun