(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
As fate would have it, the Lady Patriots snuck a game-winning goal to the back of the net with just under two minutes to play, ending the Viqueen's hopes for an upset.
While the game didn't end in the Viqueens' favor, coach Mark Neill expressed how proud he was of his team for playing one of the best teams in the mid-state down to the wire.
"I'm still very proud of our girls. They played very hard and they have everything to be proud of," he said.
Both squads battled evenly for most of the first half, but it was Community's Kristen Brothers who struck the first blow on the scoreboard.
The speedy Viqueen bolted down the right flank on the Lady Patriot end of the field with under eight minutes to play.
"As the game got going, we realized she was quicker than their defender on that side and we tried to exploit that match up on that corner," Neill said.
Fellow forward Kali Sitz eyed Brothers' run and made a perfect pass to Brothers who dodged a pair of defenders and blasted a shot to the corner of the Page goal to seize the lead and the momentum.
"The first half, it took forever for anybody to score. It was a hard-fought game all around. We finally scored and felt like we had some momentum," Neill said.
But the momentum was short-lived in the Viqueens' favor.
Page netted the equalizing goal less than three minutes of play into the second half to knot the game at one goal apiece.
While Page struck back, the Viqueens continued to feed Brothers and the front line the ball throughout the half. Community had several opportunities, but couldn't convert the runs into goals scored.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
"In the second half we had several opportunities. They had more shots in the second half. They were playing very intense in the second half and they were able to score off two set plays," Neill said.
Page's game-winner came inside of two minutes to play on a free kick set play.
And while Community did its job on defense during live action play, Page broke through on another set play and scored the go-ahead goal, putting the pressure on the Viqueens to score.
Following a brief official timeout due to an injured Lady Patriot, Page had a chance to organize an offensive and set up the game-winning score.
"We do a very good job during live action play of going to the ball, step in front and cut off the passes. Our defense did an amazing job tonight," Neill said.
Even though Page was able to score two goals on the Viqueens to claim the 2012 district championship, Viqueen keeper Megan Sager single-handedly kept Community in the game by making 11 saves.
"This was by far her best game of the season. They could have scored a lot in the second half, but she had a ton of saves. I'm very proud of her effort in the goal tonight," Neill said.
Community played tough to the end, but couldn't work the ball towards the Lady Patriot goal in the final two minutes as Page played keep away, running down the clock.
While the game goes down as a loss, Community's record speaks for itself. Through the district tournament, the Viqueens have amassed a 14-2 record, with the only blemishes being two losses to Page.
More importantly, Community has another chance at advancing in the region. The Viqueens will hit the road for the first round in the Region 6 A/AA tournament on Tuesday at Giles County. As of press time on Friday, the official match start time has not been announced.
Community 1 0 -- 1
Page 0 2 -- 2
C -- Kristen Brothers goal, Kali Sitz assist 7:21.
P -- Kelsey Wilkes goal 37:19.
P -- Wilkes goal 1:58.