On Thursday night, the Culpeper boys soccer team played in the quarterfinals of the Region 3B tournament against Brentsville, with a berth in next Tuesday’s semifinals on the line.
The Blue Devils were able to get the job done against the visiting Tigers, blanking them 2-0.
Culpeper started the game off slowly, with an abundance of miscues in the first half stymieing any real opportunities the Blue Devils had to score. Chief among their misfires was a frequent inability to get organized, as they accrued eight offsides penalties before intermission.
Culpeper head coach Stephen Kirsch was left in disbelief at the way his team started the contest.
“It was pretty frustrating,” Kirsch said of the mistakes. “We are going to think of a way to fix this tonight and we will work hard on it at practice tomorrow, because if we don’t, we aren’t going to make it to the regional finals.”
The Blue Devils were able to clean up their play in the second half, seizing control on a pair of goals by senior David Arthur.
Arthur’s first tally came off an assist by classmate and fellow midfielder Juan Chavez, who played a through ball to Arthur that he was able to poke past Brentsville goalkeeper Brian Rios for a 1-0 Culpeper lead.
Arthur’s second goal, off a through ball from junior midfielder Justin Aggrey, slammed the door shut on any comeback hopes the Tigers had with 18 minutes remaining in the game.
Kirsch said the Blue Devils played a lot better in the second half than they did in the first, largely due to the fact that they cut their offsides penalties down to three in the final 40 minutes.
Culpeper’s defense held strong, as junior goalkeeper Gabriel Barros finished the game with 7 saves.
The victory advances Culpeper to next Tuesday’s Region 3B semifinals, where it will host the winner of Friday’s Spotsylvania vs. Thomas Jefferson-Richmond matchup with a trip to the Class 3 state tournament on the line.