NR upsets Princess Anne

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

It took three overtimes, but the Nansemond River High School Lady Warriors picked up a 2-1 upset win over Princess Anne High School on Wednesday to advance to the Class 5 Region A semifinals.

The Lady Warriors had the No. 6 seed going into the tournament and defeated the No. 3 seed in Princess Anne.

Sarah Rhiel scored on a penalty kick in the first half to give Nansemond River a 1-0 lead. Late in the second half, Princess Anne tied the game up at one, forcing extra time.

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As both teams battled back and forth, in the 94th minute of the game, Saleena Lynch scored the game-winning goal.

Princess Anne was a tough team out of the Beach district that started its season with 12 straight wins.

“We both played each other tough,” Coach Michael Swerda said. “The girls hung tough, and we had a game plan going in, and we stuck to it. Going into the third overtime, it was just a dog fight, and I felt like our girls just wanted it a little bit more.”

Nansemond River will next play Menchville High School, which holds an undefeated record. However, Menchville hasn’t quite faced the competition Nansemond River has faced this season. The Lady Warriors feel the competition so far this season has helped prepare them for these moments.

“Playing the Kellams and First Colonials and the teams in our district was great for us,” Swerda said. “It’s given us some great experience going into the tournament. We feel we are playing at a high level.”

One thing that’s changed for the Lady Warriors so far is the play they’ve gotten out of their young players on the team. Swerda knew at the beginning of the season it was going to be vital for some of the younger players to step up, and they have.

“The energy after the game was great,” Swerda said. “The girls are focused, and we are on a mission. The younger players are stepping up, mixed in with the leadership of our seniors.”

Nansemond River will face Menchville at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Powhatan Field.

Nansemond River 2, Princess Anne 1

NR—Rhiel, Lynch