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Chargers win first region soccer title in 35 years

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Middlesex’s Raquan Marshall heads a ball toward teammate Derron Cooke (#1) in the June 5 loss to Riverheads in the first round of the state tournament. Charger George Shaw is at the right. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi

For the first time in 35 years the Middlesex High School boys soccer team brought home the Region 1A Championship, and did so by winning four overtime matches in a row.

In the championship match on May 31, the visiting Middlesex Chargers prevailed in a marathon match against Rappahannock. The Raiders and Chargers played to a 1-1 tie in regulation. The Chargers’ lone goal came from senior Raquan Marshall. 

Per postseason rules, two 5-minute overtime periods were played. Neither team scored and they battled through two 5-minute “sudden victory” overtime periods, where the first team to score would win. At one point it seemed the Chargers were doomed when the Raiders earned a penalty kick late in the second sudden victory period. However, the shot was deflected by Charger sophomore goal keeper Tyrell Key, who the Chargers would name tournament MVP. 

Having played 100 minutes of soccer, the winner would be determined by a shootout with opponents taking five one-on-one shots at the goal that would be defended only by the keeper. 

For the Chargers’ five shooters, coach Billy Jarvis selected sophomore George Shaw, senior Jack Ruark, junior Shawn Haskell, senior Cole Radabaugh, and freshman Aaron Akers.  

The Chargers outscored the Raiders 3-2 with goals by Jack Ruark, Shawn Haskell and Cole Radabaugh. The Raider goalie caught Shaw’s attempt and Akers did not shoot because Radabaugh’s shot clinched the Charger victory. 

The Chargers’ dream season came to an end on June 5 when they lost to visiting Region 1B runner-up Riverheads 3-1 in the first round of the state tournament. Middlesex struck first at 16 minutes into the match when Derron Cooke beat a defender and the Riverheads keeper giving the Chargers a 1-0 lead. Riverheads scored its first goal with 20 minutes remaining in the first half, then squeaked one over Charger keeper Tyrell Key to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 06.06.2018

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