WILLIAMSBURG — The Jamestown boys soccer team, finishing a game that started Friday before thunderstorms caused a postponement, successfully won their fifth consecutive Region I title, defeating Tabb 5-2 at Wanner Stadium.
Starting where last night's action left off, scoreless at the 34:25 mark of the first half, it was the Eagles who came out as early aggressors, taking advantage of their ability to complete long passes across midfield. Tabb held tough and showed no fear, even as Jamestown nearly capitalized on several early scoring chances. In the 15th minute, Patrick Kelly caromed a grounder off the left goal post. Two minutes later, Hunter Hartnett was stopped cold by goalie Tyler Evans to end a one-on-one breakaway.
But Jamestown's relentless style didn't take much longer to pay dividends. With 19:30 remaining in the first half, Phil Geyer's corner kick bounced off a Tabb defender and past Evans into the goal, giving Jamestown a 1-0 lead. Because of the unique nature of the score, it was ruled a goal, but called a "no goal" so no Eagle player received credit. The Eagles clung to the one goal lead heading to intermission.
Jamestown upped the pressure in the second half. At the 43rd minute, Evans was whistled for a foul inside the goalie box, resulting in a penalty kick situation. Patrick Kelly delivered a blast into the right side of the net, raising the Jamestown edge to 2-0.
The Tigers responded just six minutes later when Reilly Maw bounced a corner kick off his head and into the net, closing the gap to 2-1.
The momentum only lasted for two minutes. Jamestown drove the length of the right side of the field, then a Kelly pass across was middle was claimed by sophomore midfielder John Cullom who drilled a shot into the Tabb net.
However, the visitors were not in a quitting mood. At the 59th minute a free kick by Tabb's Dillon Jansen turned into a surprise goal as the ball carried 35 yards while Eagle goalie Trevor Hartnett was accidentally pushed to the side by his own teammate and could only watch helplessly as the ball sailed into the net.
With their confidence regained, the Tigers toughened up, thwarting Jamestown's drives while making several charges down the pitch.
But the Eagles, who are known for wearing down opponents in the second half, would not be denied. In the 70th minute, Kelly took a Geyer pass and found paydirt, scoring the insurance goal which gave Jamestown a 4-2 lead.
At that point, frustration took over the Tabb team, leading to some chippy play in the match's final minutes. With the Tigers losing focus, Kelly notched his third goal in the 76th minute to complete the scoring, catching Evans off guard with a laser shot into the left corner. Kelly's goal also made him the leading goal scorer in Jamestown history.
For Eagle coach Bobby O'Brien, stopping Maw, who has scored all five of Tabb's postseason goals, was the key to victory.
"I coach him with Legacy (youth travel team) so I know what he is capable of. We wanted to limit his touches on the ball, and I think we did."
Both squads now head for the AA state tournament which begins next Tuesday with games scheduled for 7 PM. Jamestown will face Region II runner-up Briar Woods at home while Tabb travels to play Region II champion Tuscarora from Loudoun County.
JAMESTOWN 5, TABB 2
Halftime: Jamestown 1-0. Goals: Jamestown – team (no goal – deflected into net by Tabb player), Kelly 3 (one on PK), Cullom. Tabb – Maw, Jansen. Assists: Jamestown – Geyer 2, Kelly. Records: Jamestown 16-1-1, Tabb 15-5-2Copyright © 2015, CT Now