POWHATAN – Heroes emerged to help the Powhatan Indians power their way past hosting Caroline 4-0 and advance to the Region 4B quarterfinals.
“What a remarkable group of players that we have here!” Powhatan head coach Tim Cristian said. “It’s just been so much fun working with these guys, and just to see them so excited about that victory last night was a real joy for me, because they’ve worked so hard, they’ve trusted in me and their work has paid off to win that game.”
Cristian said it was a bit of a challenge playing on the 55-foot wide soccer field, which he noted leveled the playing field between the home team and the visiting Indians.
“It turned out to be a bit of a struggle – we weren’t allowed to utilize our strengths of getting our wingers involved like we’d like, and it was just like a scrum in the middle of the field,” he said. “It was a challenge, but what was exciting about it, for us at least, was just to see some heroes come up…”
One of those heroes, senior Joseph Breen, led the way on two goals, including one that Cristian called “the best goal we’ve seen all year by anyone.” He struck the ball, it hit the crossbar and it went down across the line from about 20 yards out.
“It was just an absolute stunning goal,” Cristian said, “and it kind of sealed the game for us at that point.”
Breen’s two goals came in the back half to help the Indians pull away after they led 1-0 following the first 40 minutes. Swift and speedy freshman Parker Sloan made the other goal in the second half, and junior Harry Hayden, whom Cristian noted “has been a threat all year but just hasn’t gotten on the scoresheet as much as he or we would’ve liked,” delivered the Indians’ first goal of the evening.
“It was a good game in that regard, and in the fact that we got every player on,” Cristian said. “So many good things had culminated – it’s been a tough year with some of our results – and it was exciting for the guys…everybody just really was so focused.”
As they advance to the Region 4B quarterfinals against top-seeded Midlothian (Thursday, May 23), Cristian said they have so many players who are playing well right now – and are making an impact – that figuring out who to start on Thursday night is a challenge in itself.
“It’s kind of a great problem to have, to see so many guys peaking at the right time and playing well and fighting for position,” Cristian said. “It’s great timing right now.”