A season that began with a loss ended with no other setbacks and a state championship for the Yorktown Patriots.
The girls soccer team won the Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament by nipping the Kellam Knights, 1-0, in the June 11 title game at Freedom-South Riding High School in Loudoun County. Yorktown (21-1-1) was 3-0 in the state tournament and 8-0 overall in the playoffs, also winning previous Liberty District and 6D North Region tournaments.
The state championship was the team’s third, the other two coming in 2017 and 2019.
“The soccer talent that comes through Yorktown is amazing,” Patriots’ coach Hannah Davis said. “The trick is finding the right strategies and the formations to play so we can be successful. We were able to do that. Our seniors [nine overall, six starters] did an incredible job of leadership.”
Davis expected the match against Kellam to be close, tough and difficult.
“They were a strong and physical team that plays very direct, so we had to win the 50-50 balls, get the first touches and play very good defense,” Davis said. “I thought it would be a 1-0 game.”
Yorktown’s junior Aminata Davis scored the game’s lone goal on a 25-yard shot with 12 minutes left in the match.
“The ball bounced back to Aminata, she got some space and launched a rocket shot over the goalie’s right shoulder that was perfectly placed,” the coach said about the goal.
Shay Montgomery and Nora Green-Orset had shots hit the cross bar, and Moira Flynn had a shot off a corner kick saved by the Kellam goalie with a finger touch.
On defense, the Patriots were disciplined, and the coach said were able to match Kellam’s physical play when necessary. Evelyn Casadaban made a big kick save with three minutes to play for Yorktown and Patriots’ goalie Margaux Harms made a half-dozen saves. Ellie Simmons and Talia Agrillo also were defensive standouts.
“We have the best defensive line in the state,” Hannah Davis said. “Our defense works, communicates well and they can move the ball.”
The Yorktown coach said the performance in the state final was the best her team played this season.
The loss snapped Kellam’s eight-match winning streak. The Knights allowed just five goals all season, and only three in the playoffs.
In contrast, Yorktown gave up only one goal in eight playoff matches, yielded just eight goals all season and recorded 18 shutouts. The team was unbeaten in its final 22 matches.
In the first round of the state tournament, Yorktown blanked visiting Alexandria City, 4-0. Montgomery and Green-Orset each scored two goals. Montgomery added two assists, and Flynn and Green-Orsett had an assist each.
Against the Patriot Pioneers in the semifinals, Yorktown led 2-0 on a first-half goal by Montgomery, then one by Green-Orset on a rebounded shot, initially taken by Flynn, with 12:08 to play. Patriot scored with 7:05 to play and had a couple of more shots. Harms made a solid save in the final 20 seconds, and others before that.
“We came out and put pressure on their goalie, we were able to keep possession, then we used the clock well after we had the lead,” Hannah Davis said.
NOTES: The only other blemish on Yorktown’s record was a regular-season scoreless tie against Langley on May 9. The Patriots then won their final 10 matches . . . Yorktown seniors Montgomery (South Carolina), Simmons (University of Buffalo) and Green-Orset (William and Mary) will play college soccer this coming fall.