SALEM—Chancellor’s dream season came to an abrupt conclusion with one kick of the ball that slipped its way through a mass of players in front of goal and nestled into the back of the net.
Charlottesville’s Benhui Ryang was the culprit of the demise of the Chargers’ dream season. He fired a shot from 18 yards out with two minutes left in the third overtime period to give the Black Knights a 2–1 victory in Saturday’s Class 4 boys soccer title game played at Kerr Stadium on the campus of Roanoke College.
Chancellor goalie Josh Reid said the Chargers (22–1) knew they were going to be in for a battle after falling to the Black Knights (20–1–1) in a preseason scrimmage, but that on Saturday, they let one slip through their fingers.
“It just felt like it was our game today and it just fell apart right at the very end,” the senior said.
Fellow senior Josh Rasure echoed that sentiment, adding this is a season he and his 12 fellow seniors, along with the rest of the roster, shouldn’t soon forget.
“This was the best season that I’ve ever had, all of us can probably say that we’ve ever had,” the midfielder said while choking back his emotions. “We’re all as close as can be. We’re all basically brothers. Day in and day out of practice, we were there for each other, trying to make each other better to get to this 80 minute game for a state championship. All in all I’d say it was a phenomenal season. We just didn’t get that end result we wanted at the end.”
Veteran Chancellor coach Mike Webb said the outcome can’t tanish what a remarkable season this group put together while carrying on the Charger tradition.
“We won 22 straight games. We set the school record for fewest goals against and most goals in a season. We’re regional champs,” he said. “How many teams would trade places with us? We are Chancellor and that’s what we do, go to state tournaments.”
After the kickoff was delayed from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. due to heavy rains and standing water on the field, Chancellor took the lead early when Mike Kreider headed home a corner kick from Andres Correa just 6:32 into the game.
The teams battled evenly for much of the rest of the game until the closing minutes when Chancellor sat in to try and hold on for the 1–0 win.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, the Black Knights eventually took advantage of that strategy.
Charlottesville forced Chancellor into conceding consecutive corner kicks, the last of which led to the Joseph Von Storch’s game-tying score with under a minute left in regulation.
“We gave away three corner kicks in succession when all we had to do was knock one away and we probably would have get the win,” Webb said.
In overtime, the Chargers had their chances, hitting the crossbar with a header and forcing Black Knights’ goalie Nathan Fisher into his first save of the game.
Those missed opportunities led to Ryang’s winner.
Charlotteville got deep into the right corner of Chancellor’s defensive third of the field, where Malcolm Brickhouse collected a pass in a wide-open space at the top right of the goal area. The sophomore midfielder then fed the ball to his left to Ryang, whose shot skipped just out of Reid’s reach for the win.
Black Knights’ coach Martin Braun said the early deficit was something they were familiar with and he was proud of how his squad fought through the adversity until the very end.
“We kept our heads and kept pushing, pushing, pushing until virtually the last play of regulation,” he said. “We thought we had the momentum [heading into overtime], so we wanted to keep pushing. We didn’t want it to go to penalty kicks, so I’m happy we got the finish there.”