The Resilient Family: TCIS Champions
Ashby Larkin begins one of her patented drives towards goal and is taken down. The ball falls to Sarah Smith who tries to center it and is rebuffed. It ricochets to near midfield where Ann Burns Morrison swoops forward and gathers it.
She dribbles down the wing, is challenged and gets by the first defender, then is challenged, jostled, and probably fouled as she makes her way to near the corner flag. There, she creates enough space to cross the ball.
It deflects off Sofia Jonson’s foot and continues to Sarah Smallets who hits a one-time volley that deflects off the Cape Henry keeper’s hands and falls gently into the net. (Click to the blog site online to see the video).
With 15 minutes remaining in the TCIS championship against Cape Henry the family, the resilient family that has persevered through injuries and the departure of a coach, has come back from a 2-1 deficit. They would not relinquish that lead.
The title game proved a tough battle, a physical game that saw Smith, who was bulldozed while going in on goal, and keeper Jessie Cavolt, who hurt her wrist in a scrum in front of the goal, go off briefly with injuries, but return. Two Cape Henry players were shown yellow cards.
The late-game heroics were made possible when Larkin, who tirelessly ran the midfield for 80 minutes, charged in and put a rebound past the Cape Henry keeper with 25 minutes remaining.
The Oaks had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half on Hannah Beale’s left-footed shot into the lower left corner of the goal.
But Cape Henry scored on a free kick then two minutes later went ahead on a beautiful shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Once again, Jessie Cavolt was a wall in goal, somehow keeping out one ball during a battle in front of her off a corner kick.
The speedy senior Natalie Batzel was named defensive player of the tournament, part of a back line that stopped advances again and again.
Throughout the raucous Collegiate crowd — it was a whiteout — kept their team in the game.
After the Oaks defeated Norfolk Academy on Wednesday, it was unclear which team they would play for the title. One player said she hoped it was Cape Henry. Why? “Payback.”
The Oaks lost to Cape Henry in the 2014 title tilt. On Friday, they settled the score.
The title was the first TCIS girls soccer crown in the school’s history following last year’s state title, also the first in the school’s history.
The Oaks have now won nine consecutive games, outscoring opponents 41-8.
The girls will play a home state tournament game on Tuesday. The final poll has not been released, but they certainly will be seeded in the top four.
For extensive video and pictures from the game, go to Oaks TCIS Champions. https://www.flickr.com/photos/oakspictures/sets/72157651992698379