The Lord Botetourt boys soccer team gained a spot in the state Class 3 “Final Eight” with a runner-up finish in the Region 3D tournament last week. Botetourt was set to play at Western Albemarle in a state quarterfinal game Tuesday as the paper went to press.
Tuesday’s winner advances to the state semifinal in Salem Friday. If LB won on Tuesday, the Cavaliers would play the winner of a quarterfinal round game between Manassas and York on noon at Salem High School’s Spartan Field. The state championship is Saturday at 5 p.m. at Kerr Stadium on the campus of Roanoke College.
The Cavaliers clinched a state berth with a 5-1 win over Staunton River in the regional semifinals at Cave Spring last week. That win avenged a prior loss to the Eagles.
“Prior to the match we talked about the reach to states was 80 minutes away for both teams,” said coach Tim Wright. “It is was encouraging to see the guys grab a hold of the opportunity and earn a bid to states for the second year in a row.”
Goals were scored by Matt Smith, Micah Rich, Abe Barkett, Trey Rice and freshman Dylan Salvi, with his first career varsity goal.
“One of my favorite moments during this match was to be able to end the match with five freshmen and two sophomores on the field,” said Wright. “With losing 12 seniors this season, seeing these guys get to play in a region playoff game gave me excitement for the future of soccer at LB.”
The Cavaliers lost to Northside in the region final, 2-0. Northside standout Daniel Pereira scored both goals for the Vikings.
“Our man-to-man defensive approach was implemented to minimize the influence of their key player,” said Wright. “ I knew we were not going to be perfect but I felt this was the best chance we stood. Unfortunately, his consistency when met with our few mistakes proved to be just what they needed.”