Langley Coach Bo Amato watched a couple of his players walk away from the team after the Saxons tied W.T. Woodson in early April, a development that could have caused a midseason implosion. It could have pumped negativity into the team, Amato said, especially heading into spring break.
But the team never splintered. Complacency has not been an issue with Langley this spring, largely in part because it — and a core of seniors — to help the team stay on point. The results since that Woodson game? No. 10 Langley has won six straight matches, including a 3-2 victory over visiting South Lakes in McLean on Thursday night. The Saxons have outscored opponents 16-4 in that span.
Behind second-half goals from junior Onur Marsan and freshman Shayan Harandi, the Saxons extended their winning streak by taking a hard-fought Virginia Conference 6 match.
“It’s important, because the conference is really close,” Marsan said of the win.
It was the second match in as many nights for the Saxons (9-1-2, 4-1), who had to grind out a 1-0 win over Chantilly on Wednesday. Thursday’s match against South Lakes (6-4-2, 2-2) carried important conference implications, and even if Langley did have weary legs, it didn’t play like it.
Junior midfielder Daniel Levetown gave Langley a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute — the only score of the first half — and Amato got animated at the break. He ran around the field shouting instructions at his team, waving his arms and telling them to communicate more. Then he initiated a team chant as they were taking the field.
Even after South Lakes tied the game three minutes into the second half on a Jhonny DeSouza goal, that sense of urgency provided by Amato kicked in for Langley. Marsan gave the Saxons the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute on a cross from Jacob Labovitz, and the freshman Harandi continued to build his reputation as a bright young player with a 25-yard rocket that beat the Seahawks’ keeper in the right pocket.
“It’s tiring, especially when we work our butts off. We get tired. But we were able to finish off the game pretty well,” Marsan said. “Our young players are playing well. Our freshmen and sophomores are really playing well.”
The upperclassmen also had a quality outing Thursday night, which Amato rewarded with a day off Friday. Levetown emerged from the postgame huddle with a shiner under his left eye, which he earned on the field.
“Right before prom,” Levetown said of his swollen eye, quickly shifting his focus to the latest win. “I just think our senior captains are really keeping us together and helping us go through the tough times.”