By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 7 — After winning the school’s first title in soccer on Friday, the Luray High School girls soccer team took one step closer to its first state championship on Tuesday after shutting down Bruton, 8-0, in a quarterfinal round match of the VHSL Class 2 state tournament.
After nearly 15 years of fielding soccer teams — at first co-ed, then boys and girls teams — Luray High School had never won a title in soccer, until Friday. To say it was a “David-versus-Goliath” feat would not be an overstatement considering Clarke County was the reigning Class 2 state champions and had a 33-game winning streak heading into the Region B championship. With Luray taking the region title on the road over the Eagles, 3-2, the Bulldogs not only made history on June 3, but each game moving forward writes a new page in LHS athletic lore.
And at the center of that lore, once again, is Emilee Weakley. After being named both the Bull Run District and Region B Player of the Year in girls soccer, the senior attacker scored seven goals in the state semifinal on Tuesday. Weakley nearly broke a state record in scoring earlier in the season, when she hit all nine of Luray’s goals in a 9-1 win at East Rockingham on April 1. The state record was 11.
On Tuesday, the opening minutes of the state semifinal with Bruton were hard fought on both sides. Bruton initially took control and kept pressure on the Luray defense. Starting junior keeper Trinity Hasse was out for the game, as she was for the Region B championship on Friday. However, Joslyn Alger was pulled up from the junior varsity program and performed well in both games. The freshman received a loud ovation midway through the first half for immediately re-entering the game after leaving for an injury. Alger recorded a half dozen saves in the state semifinal.
After a scoreless 30 minutes with a few close calls, sophomore Emily Donovan recorded Luray’s first goal on Tuesday with 9:21 left in the first half. Weakley would add on a goal 39 seconds later, and another with just under two minutes to play in the half.
Weakley added to the 3-0 halftime lead five more times in the second half, and the match stopped with 2:45 remaining on the clock after reaching the 8-0 slaughter rule.
Bruton only took about a dozen shots on goal for the day, while Luray had 22. Bruton controlled the ball for a majority of the first half, but the Bulldogs dominated the final 37 minutes of the match. A lot of credit goes to the Bruton keeper Emily Tassara, who recorded a dozen saves.
Luray (18-3) will now travel to Salem this Friday for a state semifinal at the VHSL 2022 Spring Jubliee. This weekend’s Jubilee in Salem will feature “final four” state playoffs in baseball, softball, soccer and tennis. Soccer state semifinals will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, June 10, with the VHSL Class 2 state softball championship slated for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11.
CLASS 2 – STATE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
• Allegheny 5, Virginia High 2
• Poquoson 2, Clarke County 1
• Glenvar 7, Union 4
• Luray 8, Bruton 0
CLASS 2 – STATE SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS
• 1 p.m. Friday, June 10 — Region A champ Poquoson (8-10) v. Region C champ Allegheny (16-2-2)
• 3 p.m. Friday, June 10 — Region B champ Luray (18-3) v. Region C runner-up Glenvar (16-5)
Tickets for state playoff games must be purchased online through the Virginia High School League. Cost is $10 per ticket, plus a $1.50 service charge.
Tickets will NOT be sold at the gate during the state tournament.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.