Heritage 4, Potomac Falls 3
In the Heritage boys' soccer team's stunning 4-3 victory over Potomac Falls on Tuesday night, Pride Coach Steve Williams saw the aggressive, resilient team he thought Heritage could be this season.
"We finally played a whole 80 minutes, and that was the difference," Williams said. "We put pressure on their goal the whole 80 minutes."
In an up-and-down game at Potomac Falls, the Pride got two goals from junior forward Greg Alengelenge and pulled off one of the biggest wins in the school's young history, upending the perennial Dulles District front-runner.
After Heritage scored the first goal of the game in the eighth minute, Potomac Falls responded to tie the game. The two teams traded goals until the Pride (4-6-1, 3-6-1) secured the game-winner in the 74th minute when sophomore midfielder Tyler Duis knocked in a rebound five minutes after Potomac Falls (11-2-1, 9-2-1) had tied it at 3.
"Jon Boebinger took a nice shot, and it hit their goalie," Duis said. "I was at the right place at the right time."
The loss continued a troublesome slide for Potomac Falls and severely hampered the team's hopes for a district title. Heading into the final two games of the season -- including a showdown Friday with Broad Run (11-1), which handed the Panthers their only other loss -- Potomac Falls has gone 1-2-1 in its last four games.
Potomac Falls opened the season with 10 wins and was ranked seventh in the D.C. area.
"This is a huge disappointment, for sure," Coach Dave Gryder said. "We've started to do things that are hurting us that we hadn't been doing before. . . . We have to regroup; we have to gather ourselves now."
Despite outshooting the Pride 22-11 and mostly controlling the flow of play, the Panthers found themselves behind for most of the game.
Heritage's pressure and constant push to move the ball up the field succeeded in giving the Pride good scoring chances.
Alengelenge headed in a perfectly placed pass from junior Brad Johnson on a corner kick for the first goal. The Panthers' Sam Oliver tied the game in the 29th minute, but Heritage got a goal during stoppage time at the end of the half when junior Trey Whitemen scored off a rebound.
A Bill Kirchner goal tied the game early in the second half, but Alengelenge responded in the 64th minute with a shot that hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced in for a 3-2 lead.
"We always have played hard, but we haven't always played like this," Alengelenge said. "We were confident today, and we wanted to prove ourselves against them."