Salem, VA (June 9, 2017) – As opposed to the earlier match for the Riverside Rams girls soccer team, the boys version was the favorite in this state semifinal match. Even when you say that, however, that doesn't mean the other team isn't ready to play.
And ready they were. While the Rams had the possession edge, the Spotswood Blazers were just tough enough to keep Riverside from scoring, and when they got a great chance they finished to give themselves a surprising 1-0 halftime lead.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
As the second half sun and air and turf all heated up, so did the Rams. They had numerous scoring chances in regulation and finally tied the score on a clutch and clinical finish from Chris Castro. But that was it, and the two exhausted teams went to overtime even at 1-1.
Two five-minute overtimes came and went with no goals. The first sudden-death period also expired with no change, and the Blazers seemed to have the momentum after Rams' star Michael Zhang went down with a leg cramp.
But, with time winding down in the final overtime period before penalties, there was Castro with his second powerful goal--and that led to bedlam and a trip to the state final.
Final score: Riverside 2 - Spotswood 1.