Robert E. Lee's Paul Shaver, a 24-goal scorer during the regular high school soccer season, converted only two goals in the playoffs.
They couldn't have come at a better time.
With Lee down, 2-1, in the second half, Shaver scored two long-range goals to lift the Lancers to a 3-2 victory last night over Herndon in the Northern Virginia AAA regional championship at Jefferson.
In the first game, Lee's Kelly Cherzavanack scored late in the second half to give the Lancers (17-1) their seventh straight victory, by a 1-0 score over Annandale for the girls Virginia AAA regional title.
Both Lee teams advance to next weekend's state semifinal matches in Virginia Beach.
Shaver's winning goal came with 5:24 remaining in the match and the field soaked from an incessant drizzle during the evening. After getting tripped by Herndon's Bill Downes on a dribble down the right side, Shaver was awarded a direct kick from 20 yards away. He placed it nicely into the upper right corner of the net.
"Everyone was coverging on me every time I got the ball," said Shaver, who felt the wet conditions helped his offensive moves. "I learned from trial and error to put it in from far away."
Shaver had tied the match at 2-2 at 49:36 when he took an unexpected shot from the left side into the upper left corner of the goal.
Lee took a 1-0 lead 4:30 into the match on a right-footed shot by Tom Burgess. At 25:48, Herndon's Barry Johnson headed a pass to Greg Griffith, who put in a five-yard shot.
Three minutes later, Johnson dribbled around Lee's Jeff Ridderhoff and scored unassisted with a left-footed grounder into the right side of the goal.
The Lee girls made their winning goal with 17 minutes remaining. Becky Alexander controlled a pass deep in the far right corner and centered through the goal area. Cherzavanack was positioned well on the far side and put in a header that was uncontested by Atoms goalkeeper Kathy Rayburn.