Potomac Falls, VA (November 1, 2018) – Although the Potomac Falls Panthers owned the top seed in the Region 5C tournament, winning the thing was not going to be an easy matter.
In the regular season, they had lost just three times. One of those losses was to Briar Woods, who they had to beat in the semifinals. And now in the finals they faced the tough Stone Bridge Bulldogs, who had also beaten the Panthers once in October.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
Stone Bridge earned its place in the championship game. Their seventh seed position in the tournament meant that they had to play their first two games on the road and beat higher-seeded teams both times. And that they did. As a result, they were stoked for this match, and you could tell they were confident at the start.
It took a full four minutes for Stone Bridge to actually get the ball into the Potomac Falls half, but once they did the run of play became much more balanced. At the fifteen minute mark, however, the Panthers' Maggie Flanagan opened the scoring by sweeping in the rebound of a powerful shot that goalie Meghan Flaherty could not corral after initially making an impressive save.
But just two minutes later there was a virtually identical goal at the other end. This time, Potomac Falls goalie Anna Shapiro made a kick save that rebounded to Norah Otto, who equalized the match, 1-1.
Play continued with aggressive action from both teams until Chloe St. Francis scored for the Panthers off an assist from Abby Asuncion to make the halftime score 2-1. Potomac Falls had the momentum, but Stone Bridge was definitely not out of it.
For the first ten minutes of the second half, it was a battle. Nerves were frayed, and there was plenty of emotion on both sides. But that would be expected in a championship match. Both teams knew they would play in the state tournament, but, still, the trophy for first place was bigger than the one for second.
When Asuncion scored her first goal in the 41st minute, the air seemed to go out of the Stone Bridge side. She would add another before the game ended, but the damage had been done and the Bulldogs realized that penetrating the Panther defense was nearly futile on this night.
Final score: Potomac Falls 4 - Stone Bridge 1
|Players who could be clearly identified by jersey number are listed in the links below. Additional photos of these and other players may be viewed and purchased in the full gallery.|
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