NR soccer state bound

Published 9:50 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

Nansemond River High School boys’ soccer team punched its ticket to the 5A state tournament after defeating Kempsville High School in the 5A South regional semifinals.

A shot of energy filled the field Thursday after the final horn as Nansemond River celebrated their 1-0 victory. The game was hard fought and “extremely weird,” according to the Warriors’ coach.

The game started on Wednesday, but due to weather, the game had to be finished Thursday evening. Prior to the game Wednesday, the Warriors’ bus was 30 minutes late before the game. They rushed to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex only to find out the Lady Warriors, who played before them, were in a weather delay. When Nansemond River and Kempsville actually stepped onto the field, it was after 9 p.m. Lightning in the first half forced the game to be moved to Thursday.

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“Everything was extremely weird on Wednesday,” Warriors coach Dustin Tordoff said. “It was like everything wasn’t going our way the whole night. We were able to work through it.”

As the game resumed Thursday, the score was 0-0, and there was one minute on the clock for first-half action. The Warriors came out with high energy and played like they knew what was ahead of them.

“They knew what we had in front of us,” Tordoff said. “It was essentially like we played them twice since we had to split the game up. We adjusted, and the kids came out and controlled every facet of the game.”

Dylan Heyman scored the only goal for the Warriors on the day. Sterling McGee assisted. After their goal, the Warriors weren’t satisfied. They turned up their level of play even higher. Kempsville is a counter attack team. They absorb pressure to try to counter teams and get quick strikes. Nansemond River didn’t let the Chiefs get out of their own end; they forced them to play a different style.

“At the level of competition we were at, it’s incredible that we were able to control how teams play,” Tordoff said. “It’s a true credit to the kids and my coaching staff.”

Tordoff’s goal throughout the whole season is that he wanted his team to be peaking at playoff time, and they have. They didn’t lose a game during the month of May, which included a PenSouth championship.

“What is so impressive is that we have been playing great competition,” Tordoff said. “It is hard to beat Beach teams, and we were able to do it in consecutive games.”

Nansemond River has started off the playoffs with three consecutive shutouts.