Down by four and to the same opponent that bounced it from the VISAA Division 1 tournament the previous year, Woodberry Forest had its work cut out to say the least. But after a shaky start, the Tigers whittled down the lead. And in an exorcising of last year’s demons, Woodberry came out of a timeout in overtime and got the game winning goal from Clayton Astore to make it 10-9 and launch the Tigers into the the state tournament quarterfinals.
“We’re a team that feeds off of momentum both when it’s good or bad,” said Woodberry coach Spotty Robins. “There have been times where we get down and collapse but today that never happened. We went down but stayed positive and fought back. I think that speaks to the hard work and confidence we’ve built over the last few months.”
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Tigers staked their first lead of the game. The Dolphins built a 5-1 lead early in the second, but Woodberry responded and managed to cut the lead to 5-4 going into the half with Mack Daniels picking up a pair of goals.
“We’ve been here before,” Astore said. “We’ve been in deficits many times throughout the year. We kept our cool and performed the way we know how to.”
The pace was even in the third, but with fractions of a second left in the third, Woodberry’s Keen Griffin put one in to make it a one goal game at 8-7 in Cape Henry’s favor. That momentum carried over for the Tigers. Woodberry capitalized early in the fourth with a game tying finish from Daniels. Then with 7:33 to play, the Tigers got the go ahead goal from Max Bozymski to stake their first lead of the contest.
The next seven minutes played out in a patient back-and-forth flow between the two offenses with both opposing defenses rising to the occasion. However, with 29.6 seconds to go, Cape Henry’s Andrew Jaycox scored his second of the day to knot things up at 9-9. With a penalty, the Tigers were forced to run out the clock with their last seconds of possession in the fourth.
“We kept going a man down because I guess we like to make it interesting, which is great for our fans, but I think it’s shaving years off my life,” Robins said.
In overtime, Woodberry started by burning off the remainder of its penalty but was unable to convert on that possession afterwards. The Dolphins had one possession in the extra period, but a turnover gave the Tigers the ball with just over a minute left in the frame. Coming out of a time out, the Tigers got what they needed with Astore finding the top shelf off of a Gray Hathaway pass to end the game with a 10-9 victory.
“We got the defense moving,” Astore said. “We executed in the end, got an open look from the bottom right corner and fortunately enough I was able to hit.”
On the day, Daniels led the way for the Tigers with his hat trick. Bozymski, Coleman Bishop and Ian Weinberg each had a pair of goals. Hathaway finished with three assists while Bishop had two. Bishop also had a game high six ground balls. Goalkeeper Randolph Walker had nine saves in net.
The Tigers will travel to face Paul VI in the state quarterfinals on Tuesday.
“This was hugely important,” Robins said. “This one, we won a state game in 2015, but most of these guys have never been in this position. Last year we played this same Cape Henry team as the eighth seed too and we came out and laid an egg at home. So it was really important psychologically to get over that. Now we get a couple more days to our season and we’ll just have to enjoy the ride.”
— scrimmageplay (@scrimmageplay) May 13, 2017