JAMES CITY — Doing its part to complete the quartet of not-so-close encounters that made up the quarterfinal round of the AA state boys soccer playoffs, Jamestown made easy work out of its visitor from Loudoun County, defeating Briar Woods 5-1 on Tuesday at Wanner Stadium.
The Eagles struck first in the game's third minute when senior defender Phil Geyer turned a seemingly routine free kick from just outside of 30 yards into an unlikely goal as the ball found its way over the left side of the Falcons' wall of players and past goalie Nick Der-Hecopian.
Jamestown (17-1-1), already forcing the pace, only needed seven minutes to convert again when Jon Cullom took control of a loose ball 20 yards from goal, dribbled twice and delivered a grounder into the back of Briar Woods' net, giving the host an early 2-0 lead.
A third score came in the 18th minute when a well-timed center pass from Geyer was headed sharply into the goal by Hunter Hartnett.
Briar Woods, the Dulles District champion, finally got on the board in the 29th minute when midfielder David Clements drilled a penalty kick past Eagles keeper Trevor Hartnett. It was one of the few mistakes made by Hartnett in the goal, but Jamestown coach Bobby O'Brien made sure of that by dropping senior forward Patrick Kelly back to the midfield to shore up the defensive troops.
The strategy worked as the Falcons, led by their leading scorer, Virginia Tech-bound Connor Pompilio, were held scoreless for the rest of the match.
For Kelly, it was an opportunity to calm his teammates down.
"We were playing out of control. They were freaking out," said Kelly, the Region I Player of the Year. "I had played center-mid with Bobby (O'Brien) on our (league team) before, but it had been a couple of years. It was a chance for us to get things back under control."
"I don't think that our young guys understood the magnitude of this game. But even after (moving Kelly back) ,we made some more adjustments after halftime.
"Our game plan worked. The plan was to jump on them early and we scored three times in the first 15 minutes."
The Eagles took the 3-1 advantage into intermission.
The pace slowed early in the second half, but Jamestown found its insurance goal in the 63rd minute when Hartnett lofted a crisp pass from the left wing past Der-Hecopian and in front of the goal, leaving Kevin Kefalas with the right side of the net wide open. The midfielder capitalized by bouncing a shot into the top of the net.
When Cullom added his second goal a minute later, there was nothing left to watch but the winding down of the clock.
Cullom, whose two goals provided a spark, showed confidence in his team's chances to win the state tournament.
"We're not taking no this year," he said. "If we play our hardest, we can win. I'm not worried about the opponent, just about us being prepared."
The Eagles travel to Radford for a semifinal matchup at 4 p.m. Friday against Jefferson Forest, which won its quarterfinal against Bassett 6-0.
JAMESTOWN 5, BRIAR WOODS 1
Halftime: Jamestown 3-1. Goals: Jamestown, P. Geyer, J. Cullom 2, H. Hartnett, Kefalas; Briar Woods, Clements. Assists: Jamestown, Kelly, P. Geyer, H. Hartnett, D. Geyer. Records: Jamestown 17-1-1, Briar Woods 18-4-2.