School and Sports News for April 28

In Madison, 3-1 girls soccer loss is definitely ‘better’

Rappahannock’s girls varsity soccer came off last week’s victory over Manassas Park only to fall solidly to the Madison Mountaineers, 3-1.

On their home field, the Lady Panthers worked to hold back a challenging opponent. Last season, Madison prevailed in a heartbreaking “slaughter rule” win.

Senior Tiffany Francis had a mixed reaction to the game. “We didn’t lose because of the slaughter rule, so that is better. Based on how we did against them last year, we went in thinking we were gonna get killed. So, the score wasn’t that disappointing.

“Sarah Wheatley kicked our only goal in the first half. Oh my goodness, we were elated. Actually, we were kinda freaking out. Then their number nine got mad. She came out, dribbled through everyone and made her goal. So, we got to enjoy winning for about two minutes,” Francis said.

“The last two goals they got went in during the last 15 minutes of the game. I do have to give a shout out to Paula [Accioly]. She is amazing! When I think the other team is just gone with the ball, she stops it.

“We played well nine-tenths of the game and just got tired and fell apart. We need to communicate more, but I think we improved. Plus we are better at not getting mad at each other and we work more as a team.

“For the future, instead of being defensive, we need to be the first to get the ball. We come onto the field all fired up and screaming for the ball, then we calm down late and work on possession. We need to come out focused on possession.”

The Lady Panthers travel to George Mason High School this Friday (April 29) to take on the Mustangs.

Panther boys soccer plays to scoreless tie

In some questionable weather, Panther boys soccer traveled to Madison on Tuesday night (April 26) and settled for a scoreless tie in their third Bull Run District game.

Junior and co-captian John Letsen described his disappointment. “We just had a bad night. They possessed the ball way more than us and played a better game. We should’ve beat them. There were a few opportunities, like shots on goal. And we actually scored one goal, but the refs took it away because of a bad off-sides call on Amrit [Tamang].”

Letsen, as a starter and consistent player, had to overcome some unusual circumstances and adjust to some changes. “For the first 15-20 minutes I couldn’t play because I had a bad bloody nose. Then, when I got to go in, I played forward and midfield. I struggled on midfield because I haven’t really played center-mid a lot. It’s all about getting used to it.”

Rappahannock pushed through their post-spring break malaise and grabbed a second wind . . . but it wasn’t timely enough. “Near the end we were down their throats, shooting the line,” Letsen said.

In the midst of a potential Panther rally, with 15 minutes left to play, the game was called due to lightning. Letsen described the team’s reaction. “It was disappointing to end the game because we were probably gonna score.”

The Panthers have a chance to rise again this Friday night (April 29) at 7 p.m. when they host the George Mason Mustangs.

RCHS baseball still seeking district win

Panthers boys baseball is still on the prowl for their first district win. In their third Bull Run District game of the season, they fell at home to the Madison Mountaineers, 18-3.

“We came into the game with the mentality of holding our own at our own field,” senior pitcher John Mills said. “Our goal was not to be disrespected on our own field. It didn’t end that way.

“Brandon Walker pitched strong in our first few innings, but errors plagued our defense as we struggled to fight our way back into the game. We did hit the ball fairly well and put the ball in play like we were supposed to. I went three-for-three and Brandon had some good stats.”

Rappahannock did not lose their fighting instinct. “We had a two-out rally in the third inning,” Mills said. “Brandon had a three-RBI double that scored me, Matt [Fletcher] and Garfield [Burke]. Their infield was playing really close, and Brandon just hit a bomb over the left fielder’s head.

According to Mills, the atmosphere shifted during the fifth inning. “Their coach told his players to swing at every pitch at the top of the fifth. It was unsporstman-like, and we were all upset by that. It threw us a bit.

The frustration fueled a die-hard Panther attitude. “Towards the end of the game,” Mills said, “there was a lot of passion. We were fueled to get back, but we had dug ourselves too deep of a hole.

“Overall, we just need to get out of the habit of getting down several runs and then trying to battle our way back for the rest of the game. We also have to work on mental errors in the field, knowing where to throw the ball in the infield.”

The Rappahannock sluggers will vie for their victory again Friday night (April 29) at George Mason High School.