For most of Thursday night’s boys’ soccer game between Yorktown and Hayfield, all that separated the two teams was the opening 13 seconds of the game. Fans were still trickling into the stadium. Players and coaches on the bench had barely settled in after pregame warmups. Iain Holmes simply didn’t care.
The Yorktown senior scored in the opening minute for the second time this week, helping the sixth-ranked Patriots to a key 2-0 win over the Hawks in Virginia Conference 6 play in Arlington.
“The plan was always coming out to just try to score as many goals as we possibly could,” said Holmes, who also scored in the opening minute Monday night in a key win against Robinson. “We just got lucky with that first one.”
Yorktown (6-1, 2-0) has won five straight games and enters spring break as one of the hottest teams in the area. In a week’s span, the Patriots beat No. 1 Oakton and survived a 4-3 thriller against Robinson, just the second time in eight seasons the team has beaten the Rams.
A shutout win over feisty Hayfield (0-3-1, 0-2) was the team’s fourth clean sheet of the season. Still, the Hawks didn’t make things easy for Holmes or the Patriots after the opening minute. Hayfield’s back line stiffened after being stunned by the goal in the opening minute and turned away several prime scoring opportunities in the first half — including a header by Holmes that was deflected just above the crossbar.
“The longer we went on without putting those goals away, the more confidence they got and thought that they were in this game to win it,” Holmes said.
But unlike Monday night’s wild win over Robinson — when Yorktown squandered a three-goal lead in the second half and needed a game-winner with two minutes left to escape — the Patriots limited Hayfield’s chances at the equalizer.
The Hawks had several set-piece opportunities in the second half, but the costly early goal given up to Holmes was compounded with another score by Yorktown defender Jack Dokken in the 70th minute.
“It’s always nice to get a goal early. We just needed to keep up the pressure,” Dokken said. “[Holmes] did it last game. We’re kind of getting used to it.”