On the Cusp: Western boys soccer advances to state semifinal

Photo by Colin Rutherford

Western Albemarle’s boys soccer program has been among the absolute best of the best in the past decade in the VHSL.


The Warriors have won four state titles since 2013, three in Class 3, and one in Class 4. They have won the most Jefferson District titles, one of the most complete soccer districts in the commonwealth.


Since 2013, Western has gone 173-30-12, for a ridiculous .800 winning percentage. They have lost just 12 games in Crozet since then, and are looking to claim a fifth state title in the past ten years.


Only one of their state championship teams, however, has gone undefeated. The legendary spring of 2014 season for the Warriors remains perhaps one of the greatest in VHSL history. The Warriors went 24-0, allowing only 13 goals on the season.


 The Warriors have put themselves in a prime position to do the same exactly ten years later, and their road in the state tournament began quite well with a 4-0 thrashing of Region 3D runner-up William Byrd.


The Warriors pushed their record to 20-0 this season, claiming both the Jefferson District title and the Region 3C Championship. They are now just two wins away from another state title to go along with a perfect record.


Warrior senior Connor Spano would prove to lead the charge Tuesday evening, finding Jamey Williamson just 13 minutes into the game. The senior duo were both first team all district selections this season, and once Williamson found the back of the net, things really opened up offensively for Western.


Though the visiting Terriers from Roanoke were able to withstand another goal from Western’s furious attack for the next 20 minutes, Spano got loose himself for two more goals in the final five minutes of the half to completely deflate Byrd going into halftime.


Western was able to tack on another goal in the second to make the final margin 4-0, the Warriors 12th shutout of the season. If they want to tie the 2014 team’s record of goals against, they can only give up one more in the final two games.


The way the Warriors defense is playing, it is very possible.


Western will play another region runner up in much improved Culpeper County, who were visitors over Region 3A champion Grafton in PK’s after battling to a 2-2 tie.


The Blue Devils have had a long couple years of struggling before breaking out this season, going for 14 wins and a state final four appearance. It has been their best season since…you bet, 2014, when the Blue Devils fell in the state semis to Western 6-0.

Western will get a massive home-field advantage in the semis, as they are playing at Monticello High School, a field the Warriors have won on many times before. The Warriors will kick off with the Blue Devils on June 7th at 9am at Monticello. The winner will advance to the Class 3 state championship game on the 8th at 10am.