Fluco girls lose in state quarter final; win multiple honors for region play

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco girls soccer team hosted a quarter final match in the State Class 3 tournament on June 7. Fluco Coach Kat Hinkle said that this is the first time a Fluco soccer team has ever made it into the state tournament. The Flucos took on the Cavaliers from Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville. It was an excellent game, but the Flucos ran out of time and fell 4-3. Each time the Cavaliers scored the Flucos bounced back to tie the score, but they were unable to do so after Lord Botetourt’s fourth goal, so the final was 4-3.

The teams appeared to be evenly matched in the opening minutes of the first half. The Cavaliers forced an early corner kick and also achieved an early shot on goal, but the Flucos stopped those two attempts. The Flucos had good chances in the middle of the first half but were turned away. With 11:49 remaining, the Cavaliers achieved a breakaway and recorded the game’s first goal. The Flucos responded immediately as senior Maggie McWilliams achieved a breakaway goal of her own, only 49 seconds later. 

 With only 2:08 left in the half, the Cavaliers scored again on a break-away. Fluco junior Evelyn DeMers nearly tied it back up only 10 seconds later with a powerful shot that just went wide of the net. The Flucos trailed at halftime 2-1.

Less than three minutes into the second half Fluco senior Christina (Tina) Valadares fired a powerful right footed shot past the Cavalier goalie to tie the score. For the next ten minutes, the Flucos continued to apply pressure and they forced four corner kicks. Unfortunately, it was Lord Botetourt that was able to break into the lead, scoring on a strong run to go ahead 3-2. Again, the Flucos seemed to be generating more scoring opportunities.  With 14:50 left on the clock, sophomore Abby Ford tied the score with a finely placed header shot off a corner kick. The Cavaliers responded quickly, scoring on a breakaway after only three more minutes of play. The Flucos continued to battle and they generated a couple of corner kicks and a free kick from 20 yards out that was just high. But the final score was Lord Botetourt 4, Fluvanna 3.

After the game, Coach Hinkle emphasized how proud she was of her squad noting that throughout the year they played hard together and always as a team. The Fluco girls went into the Region C tournament as a number eight seed and won four in a row to capture the Region C title. The team received a number of well-deserved awards for this impressive run. Four Flucos were named All-Region. Piper LaRochelle, a Fluco defender and only a freshman, Valadares, DeMers and McWilliams were all All-Region. Valadares was chosen as Region C player of the year. Not surprisingly, Hinkle was named Region Coach of the Year.

Coach Hinkle said all her seniors are going to college. Starters and top players Valadares and McWilliams are going to JMU and College of Charleston respectively. Back-ups Riley Yowell, Claire Barnett and Ava Amato will be attending Princeton, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia respectively.

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