The James River boys soccer team lost a heartbreaker to Glenvar in the Region 2C quarterfinal last week. The undefeated Highlanders came from behind twice late in the game to down River in overtime, 3-2.
“What a game,” said River coach Jared Whiting. “Probably the most intense game I have coached in many years.”
River led 1-0 at the half on a goal by Justin Hill, assisted by Levi Miller, and Glenvar didn’t tie the game until five minutes remained in regulation. The game appeared headed for overtime at that point, but River regained the lead on a goal by Dominick White, assisted by Nathan St.Clair, with just 1:12 remaining and things looked good for an upset against a team that beat the Knights twice during the regular season. However, Glenvar tied the game at 2-2 with just 20 seconds remaining, and now the game went to overtime for certain.
Two five-minute overtime periods settled nothing, and two sudden death periods were due next. Only one was needed, as Glenvar scored with three seconds remaining to end River’s season with a disappointing loss.
“We played the night before and Glenvar didn’t, and I knew the overtime periods were going to be tough on us,” said Whiting. “By the third overtime period we had eight guys leg cramping and just couldn’t run with them anymore. Every one of these guys gave 100 percent without a doubt. I was amazed at the heart they showed. It was a heartbreaker to say the least but am so proud of the way they played, the way they worked, the drive they displayed. Back to back games are so tough and without the game the night before I believe it would have had a different outcome.”
The loss shouldn’t take away from what was a very good season under trying circumstances. The season started over a month later than usual due to the pandemic and didn’t end until mid-June, much later than usual, and the Knights only got better as the season progressed.
“These guys really came together at the end of the season,” added Whiting. “The last three games they played some incredible soccer. They played through adversity and kept their sportsmanship at the highest level. Circumstances may have cost us in the end but I sure am not disappointed in how they played or the effort they put out. Can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys.”