For Bobcats, last moment is the best
BATTLEFIELD 2, COX 1 (4 OT)
Typically when Becca Callison heads to the sideline for a corner kick, there’s a process she must undergo. After bending over to tug her socks back above her shin guards, the Battlefield midfielder uses her forearm to wipe the sweat from her brow.
But as the last seconds wore off the clock in the fourth and final overtime of Saturday’s Virginia 6A girls’ soccer state final against Cox, there was neither time for preparation nor panic. “Just get the kick off,” Callison yelled inside of her mind.
Relying on her natural aim toward the far post, the senior lofted the kick, setting off a mad scramble in front of the net. First, teammate Georgia Matthews headed the ball. Then a Cox defender deflected it. But ultimately, as the clock struck 1.7 seconds, Kayla Hamric reared back her left foot for a shot into the back of the net, sending the Bobcats to a 2-1 win at Robinson and their second straight state championship in thrilling fashion.
“This is like a movie,” a stunned Callison kept repeating to her teammates during the on-field celebration. “Things like that don’t happen in real life.”
A harsh dose of reality had nearly stung the Bobcats (212-1) in the second half. Despite controlling possession and setting up opportunity after opportunity near the Falcons’ goal, it was Battlefield that trailed after Alex Davidson squeaked a 30-yard free kick just under the crossbar in the 49th minute.
Battlefield’s near-misses against Cox (19-4) continued until the final three minutes of regulation, when Matthews again intercepted a Callison corner kick — only this time, the junior’s initial attempt found its way into the goal.
“We knew the goals were out there because we were getting good looks,” Bobcats Coach Kevin Hilton said. “We just had to connect on them.”
The stalemate continued through nearly four overtime periods, placing Battlefield on the cusp of a penalty shootout in the state final for a second straight year. But thanks to Callison, who had misfired on a corner kick about 45 seconds earlier, and Hamric’s heroics, the Bobcats were able to bypass chance and reclaim the championship once more.
Battlefield’s GeorgiaMatthews heads a corner kick into the net to tie the score at 1 and help send the state final into overtime. Matthews also played a key role on KaylaHamric’s game-winner for the Bobcats.