Soccer meets with the Wildcats in the Region 5C Semifinals

Varsity Boys Soccer Playoff Preview


Photo by: Lauren Cassano

Boys Soccer groups up before their home game

Boys’ Varsity Soccer is looking to reach the state tournament with a win in the Region 5C Semifinals against Deep Run on May 30. After their bye, the Trojans earned a 2-1 win against the Godwin Eagles off the strength of amazing performances from Seniors Connor Reid and Gavin Schuler along with their sophomore goalie Caleb Underwood. On the other hand, the Wildcats are game removed from giving the J.R Tucker Tigers their second loss in the quarterfinals in two years with a 1-0 victory on May 26.

Throughout the course of this season, the one aspect that has fueled this Midlothian team has been their ability to neutralize their opponent defensively. The Trojans have had an elite defense during the spring due to the fact that they limit the amount of opportunities their opponent has in the box, while being able to force takeaways in the middle of the field. According to Coach Garza, his defensive philosophy will be the reason for success during this postseason run.

“Our back-line being able to control a game will be the difference for this team moving forward,” Coach Garza said. ” The reason why is because our attackers,midfielders, and our goalkeeper Caleb Underwood won’t have to exert as much energy because of how our defense is anchoring this team.”

In the month of may, the Trojans currently have a record of  6-1-1 as they head into their second game in the VHSL Class 5 Tournament. During this stretch, Midlothian has dominated their opponents with a goal differential of +20 while having a shutout against Monacan, Huguenot,and Prince George. Meanwhile, the Wildcats heading into this contest have a record of 4-0-2 with a goal differential +7 during the last full month of the season.

“Deep Run is a team that centers their gameplan around defense and knows how to make adjustments properly to certain tactics on the field,” Assistant Coach Bob Crumpler said. “Because of that, the difference will be players like Lance Yeboah who has shown this season that he can create opportunities for us because of his speed on the outside.”

This will be the first trip to the Semifinals for the Trojans since June of 2017 when they finished with an overall record of 17-6. The matchup they had in 2017 resulted in a 1-0 loss to the Kettle Run Cougars, a team who would go on to win Group 4A against the Charlottesville Black Knights  3-2 in a third overtime. Despite them not being in the Semifinals for half of a decade, Midlothian is coming into this game with the mentality of  being the team to beat in their region.

“Even though this soccer team has had memorable moments in the past, that isn’t something we should be focusing on at this juncture,” Coach Garza said. “This is a team with younger players, different coaching, and a new system. Because of that, I have been preaching all season long that we have the talent to not only surpass this Wildcats team, but we have the potential to reign supreme amongst other teams in the VHSL State Tournament.