13 April 2017
A light drizzle was falling on Monday evening (April 3) when the Fluco girls’ soccer team kicked off at home against Louisa High. Ten minutes into the game the drizzle turned into a steady soaking downpour that continued for over an hour. Despite the rain, which surely would have stopped a softball or baseball game, the teams played on. The field is artificial turf, so the game did not become a sloppy mud bowl.During two 40-minute halves, both team had some chances to score, but neither team could break through. The score was 0-0 at the end of regulation time. As a result, two five-minute overtime periods were added to the game. With 1:42 remaining in the first overtime period, Fluco sophomore Madi Nazar accomplished a clean break-away. She dribbled the ball straight at the Louisa goalie and fired a hard shot from just inside the penalty area. The Louisa goalie had no chance, and the Flucos led 1-0. Nazar had been a thorn in the side of the Lions’ defense for the entire game. She had several chances during the rainstorm, but Louisa always managed to thwart her attempts. In this instance, the Lions were thoroughly beaten.
During the rest of overtime, the Lions did get a couple of corner kick opportunities, but the Flucos were the dominant squad. The final outcome could have been two or three to nil, if the Flucos had experienced a little better luck.
The game started with the Flucos having some problems with offside calls, and the Lions controlled the play in the first 10 minutes. However, senior Fluco defender Cyan Coates was playing her usual strong game, and the Lions’ shooting opportunities were few.
As the rain started to fall in earnest, Fluco senior Lydia Reynard fired a hard shot that was just too high. Later in the period, Fluco forwards Nazar and Lindsay Price, another senior, both worked hard to come up with scoring opportunities, as the Flucos started to dominate play. With a minute left in the half Nazar nearly put the Flucos on the board with a hard shot that was just wide to the left.
The second half of regulation was a defensive battle, with Fluvanna getting more opportunities, but most of the attacks by both sides were turned back in a fairly routine manner. Fluco junior goalkeeper Jilian Stutz was required to make a couple saves on long looping shots by Louisa, but they were not really threatening. Nazar and Price put some pressure on Louisa, but their goalie was not seriously tested either. The half was characterized by solid defense on both sides. Late in the half, the Lions achieved several corner kicks, but the Flucos turned them away easily.
In the overtime, the Flucos were clearly the team with the most energy and, as a result, it was no surprise that Nazar achieved a clear break-away and neatly converted for the game’s only score.
After the game, Fluco Coach Kristen Davis praised the play of Nazar and Price on the front line and the way that Coates consistently anchors the defense. She also noted that although a number of the teams’ top players are in their senior year, she also has three freshmen on the roster – MacKenzie Fain, Maryann Chittenden and Jadyn Cook – who are also making strong contributions. So the team is both young and experienced.
The Flucos return to action on April 17 when they host Monticello High. On April 20 they host Albemarle. Then on April 24 and April 27, the Fluco girls travel to Charlottesville High and to Louisa.