By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
Purcellville (May 27, 2014) – The Loudoun Valley High School boys and girls soccer teams cruised to victories in the Conference 28 quarterfinals on May 26 in Purcellville as the Viking girls defeated Central-Woodstock by a margin of 5-1, and the boys ended the doubleheader with a 6-1 victory over Warren County.
Junior Kasey Kitto highlighted the night scoring his first career high school hat trick in the win over the Wildcats. The three-goal performance was the first hat trick by any athlete on the Viking boys team this spring.
Both the boys and girls will play on May 28 in the Conference 28 semifinals as the girls travel to Warren County and the boys head to William Monroe.
Viking Girls Dominate
Loudoun Valley High School junior forward Makayla Lewis and sophomore midfielder Lauren Perry stole the show for the Vikings during game one of the girls and boys soccer doubleheader on May 26 scoring two goals apiece in Loudoun Valley’s, 5-1, win over Central-Woodstock in the Conference 28 quarterfinals.
Lewis – a team captain – credited their preparation over the past several years playing against VHSL state contenders such as Briar Woods, Broad Run and Woodgrove on a regular basis as one of the reasons the Viking girls came out and dominated the Falcons.
“The past few years we haven’t succeeded as much especially with the district we were in,” Lewis said. “This win really shows that we can make it further. It really shows everyone that we’re not just some team you can come out and beat.”
The Vikings took a 4-0 lead into the half as sophomore midfielder Brenna Heiston and Perry each notched a goal while Lewis scored both of hers in the first 40 minutes. In the 55th-minute, Central-Woodstock freshman forward Sydney Crosser scored on a penalty kick. Later in the 70th-minute, Perry connected on her second goal securing the win for the Vikings.
“It wasn’t our tidiest game of soccer, but a victory nonetheless. Definitely getting to host the first round and play at home was good to be here and have our crowd behind us,” Loudoun Valley head coach Kerry Davidson. “Several different people scored and that’s always good when you’re not relying on one person. We got a handful of girls contributing, stepping up.”
For Davidson, the girls stepping up are not only upperclassmen. Fifteen members of the Loudoun Valley’s varsity soccer squad are underclassmen including six freshmen.
“We had a lot of young girls who got in and played tonight so we’re happy to see them,” Davidson said. “That helped boost us to know we have depth on our bench when we move on to play more challenging team. We’re excited. It’s the first moving forward in a tournament run we’ve had in a few years.”
Lewis – one of just seven upperclassmen on the Vikings’ young team – made it clear that on the field training is aided by friendships off the field.
“During practice, if I see something, I’ll tell them they have to do this so that in a game it will work out better,” Lewis said. “Outside of school, outside of practice, we always hang out. We have had sleepovers to have team bonding on and off the field.”
Davidson appreciates the leadership Lewis and the rest of her veterans bring to the team, but understands that getting her younger athletes opportunities will be the most beneficial attribute for them.
“We try to give girls opportunities to play. They come together, and they work hard at practice and they do team bonding events so they know each other well and feel secure. But you definitely have to get your younger girls in,” Davidson said. “Our returning sophomores, who are veterans, and our juniors have been doing a great job of giving them the ball, distributing to them and making them feel part of the team. It’s an experience thing to give them confidence.”
While pleased with the win, Davidson noted that there are things that need to be altered before the Conference 28 semifinal game on May 28 when the Vikings travel to Warren County to take on the Wildcats.
“We have to work on finishing and our first touch. We’ll work on that at practice,” Davidson said. “We clogged the middle a little bit too much tonight so we’ll work on opening the field up a little bit more.”
Viking Boys Crush
During the nightcap of the doubleheader, Loudoun Valley High School junior Kasey Kitto scored his first career high school hat trick leading the Vikings to an easy, 6-1, victory over the Warren County Wildcats on the boys side of the Conference 28 quarterfinals.
“I couldn’t have done it without the team. They were feeding me the ball,” said a humble Kitto. “I just got lucky for a few of them and put them in.”
The Vikings got on the scoreboard early has sophomore forward Jorge Cruz found the back of the net in the eighth-minute of the contest. Then came the Kitto show.
Kitto headed in his first goal in the tenth-minute when junior Sean Bills placed a ball into the box off a corner kick. Kitto then followed with a goal in the 29th-minute before he added the cherry to his sundae, finishing his hat trick with a goal in the 54th.
“[Kitto’s] been a consistent scorer for us all season. Great kid to coach, just smart,” Loudoun Valley head coach Scott Hackett said. “He’s really grown a lot as a player and a leader on this team. He’s our leading scorer. He’s plugging away and does whatever you ask of him.”
Warren County junior forward Luis Tligui answered Kitto’s 54th-minute goal with a Wildcats’ goal in the 55th, before Loudoun Valley sophomore forward Ben Zickmann added an insurance goal in the 72nd-minute.
While winning the first round game in the Conference 28 tournament by a large margin, it was only the sixth win of the season for the Vikings.
“It’s a lot of really good preparation playing against teams in the area: it’s the toughest soccer in the state. I’d put any of our teams up against anybody in the state,” Hackett said. “The difference was we spent weeks preparing for this, realizing that everything we did in the regular season was going to pay off and prepare us for tonight.”
Loudoun Valley’s game against Warren County was only their fourth match up against a VHSL 3A team all season, meaning certain victories during their 6-10-1 season came against teams in the both the 5A and 4A divisions.
“Playing against the teams that are above our division really helps us prepare for the long runs there,” Kitto said. “Warren County came out and played well. We just came out better: preparing more over the season, playing against those real tough teams.”
On May 28, the Loudoun Valley Vikings will travel to William Monroe for the Conference 28 semifinals, and even though the Dragons are a 3A team, junior midfielder Justin Tilly noted that all the preparation in the world, does not replace hard work during games.
“The big thing throughout the season is we were just looking for improvement every game. We weren’t really looking for the scoreboard,” Tilly said. “Coming back in the post season for the 3A teams, it’s still a challenge, we have to work hard on the field.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and will enter his senior year at Syracuse University this fall. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!