Richmond, VA (June 9, 2018) – By record, the Freedom Eagles were decisive underdogs to the Atlee Raiders.
The Eagles had a strong regular season that included losses to the powerhouse LCPS teams at Dominion and Riverside as well as two one-goal playoff losses to Potomac Falls, the last coming in the Region 5C final.
The Raiders, however hadn't lost at all. Not in the regular season, not in the playoffs. And none of their wins--including a semifinal victory over Potomac Falls--had been by less than nine goals.
But you don't get to wear rings by making it to the championship. You have to win your last game.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
As expected, and in the first minute, Atlee scored first. But Emily Maier tallied three consecutive times to give the Eagles a somewhat surprising 3-1 lead midway through the first half. That would prove to be the only time that the teams would be separated by more than one goal, but that surge would give Freedom the confidence they needed to stay in the game.
But the Raiders Kate Miller led Atlee to three straight goals to go ahead again. A Freedom goal by Emily Lichtenberg in the final minute before halftime would tie this taut and tense championship match at 5-5.
Atlee scored to open the second half, but the Eagles would not go away. Each time the Raiders scored, Freedom was there to tie it again. In fact, the scoreboard was even nearly 50% of the match.
The Eagles finally went ahead in the 42nd minute on a goal from Morgan Koeneke. Two minutes later Miller scored for Atlee, tying the game for the last time.
Would the state final have to be decided in overtime? Not if Rachel Bean had anything to do with it. With two minutes remaining, the Freedom senior put the ball in the back of the net and the championship trophy in the Eagles' collective hands.
Final score: Freedom 9 - Atlee 8
|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.|