Then came a second Chargers goal, then a third and a fourth. By halftime, No. 8 Chantilly had built a commanding five-goal lead and all of a sudden, the weight of Saturday night’s Virginia championship game had all but disappeared.
After falling in state title games in each of the last two years, the third time was indeed the charm for the Chargers, who earned an elusive state crown with a 9-5 win over Madison.
“We came out on fire. We were all so pumped for this game and we wanted it bad. We just came out and played one of the best games we’ve had,” Dansey said. “Every goal we scored just gave us this bumper and it just gave us this confidence that we rode the whole way.”
The Chargers (21-2) were quick to impose their will on the Warhawks (18-6). They scored five goals to open the game before giving up Madison’s only tally of the first half.
Chargers junior goalie Patrick Meehan was especially stingy, making 19 saves, nine of which came in a frantic fourth quarter.
Meehan’s play was so spectacular that it earned the junior a bear hug on his way off the field from typically stoic Chantilly Coach Kevin Broderick.
“Second half, I think they weren’t feeling it as much as they were in the first half,” Meehan said. “They weren’t shooting as well. They were shooting from further out. They were shooting from better angles for me.”
Madison’s offense managed longer possessions in the second half but struggled to find the back of the net. Madison freshman Chris McLallen scored his second goal of the game midway through the third quarter to pull the Warhawks to within four, but the Chargers scored twice early in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
The state championship is the second in team history for the Chargers, who also earned a title in 2008. The victory over Madison capped a postseason run in which Chantilly exorcised its big-game demons with a Northern Region semifinal win against Langley, the team that bested them in three of the last four state title games. Saturday’s victory also afforded Chantilly a chance to avenge its triple-overtime loss to Madison in the Northern Region final two weeks ago.
“It’s just such a redemption of the previous two years. It’s just incredible,” Dansey said. “I couldn’t have wished for a better high school career. It’s amazing.”