No. 2 Battlefield girls’ soccer tops No. 1 Chantilly

Shannon Lee remembers watching from the stands last spring when the Battlefield girls’ soccer team came up just short in the Virginia AAA state title game. Though she was just an eighth-grade spectator at the time, the emotional aftermath only elevated Lee’s anticipation for this spring, when she was finally able to don the purple jersey of the team she grew up watching so closely.

Battlefield’s efforts again threatened to become unraveled Monday after the Bobcats fell behind early on the road against top-ranked Chantilly. But with their freshman starter no longer relegated to the stands, the No. 2 Bobcats rode Lee’s two goals to knock off Chantilly, 5-2, in a chilling drizzle.

“I try to go into every game feeling confident,” the midfielder said. “It was tough watching this team lose in the final last year, and I’m fortunate this year to be a part of another talented team and hopefully give us a boost whenever we need it.”

While Battlefield (4-0) took the field having outscored its first three opponents 21-0, Chantilly was fresh off its first loss and played Monday without standout juniors Kayla Christian and Abby Gashel, whom Chargers Coach Melissa Bibbee chose to rest after they had played four games in four days on the high school and club circuits.

Still, Chantilly (3-2) jumped out to an early lead behind the play of All-Met forward Laila Gray and senior Karina Castillo, who each scored a goal to give the Chargers a quick 2-0 advantage.

After regrouping their defensive effort in the midfield to seal off the passing lanes created by Chantilly’s unique offensive formation, Battlefield gradually gained control and set up 10 first-half shots.

Lee recorded the Bobcats’ first goal by heading in a corner kick that Becca Callison neatly lofted over the crowd of Chantilly defenders. Callison later knotted the score at 2 with a penalty kick just before halftime.

“Once we found our marks on the field and adjusted to their formation, we were able to get going, and it’s hard for other teams to stop us in those moments because of our chemistry,” Callison said.

The Bobcats carried their offensive success into the second half, as Callison again found Lee for a goal off a corner kick in the 46th minute. Several moments later, Karina Lacey turned a deflected pass into Battlefield’s fourth consecutive goal before Colleen Gawkins kicked a laser into the left side of the net for the final margin.

“We knew we were going up against a good team tonight and we weren’t at our best early on,” Lacey said. “But to come back and get the win in a game like this helps make us more confident that we can reach our ultimate goal this season.”

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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