ROCKVILLE — The third seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons boys soccer team advanced to the state semifinals Wednesday night at Richard Montgomery High School as they defeated the Gaithersburg Trojans 3-0.
Early on in the game, Gaithersburg controlled the pace of play. It was the Trojans who had the bulk of the early opportunities to score. However, each and every time that Gaithersburg launched an attack, the Barons defense stifled it.
While Gaithersburg had more chances early on, B-CC had the best opportunity. With 24 minutes to play in the first half, Justin Anderson dribbled into the box, and fired a shot on goal. Gaithersburg goalkeeper Ismael Hernandez blocked the ball, deflecting the shot right to Matias Miranda-Vaira of the Barons. However, with Miranda-Vaira unable to get his leg on the ball, the Barons came up empty.
B-CC’s next great chance came in the final seconds of the first half, and this time, the Barons took full advantage. B-CC’s Eli Sturm fired a free kick into the box. The ball was redirected by a host of Trojans and Barons in the area, and right to the feet of B-CC’s Jack Tchantchuing who was standing right in front of the goal. With no Trojans in position to block the shot, Tchantchuing easily tapped the ball into an open net, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead with just 13 seconds left to play in the first half.
The Barons kept their momentum going into the second half, and before the second half was 10 minutes old, B-CC scored again. B-CC’s Nathan Messer received a pass inside the box. The forward then passed the ball into the middle as Liam Brocker charged in. Brocker fired the ball into the goal, and B-CC took a 2-0 lead.
Now firmly in control of the game, the Barons could afford to play more defense, but that still didn't prevent them from taking advantage of a few chances on counterattacks. Justin Anderson, Miranda-Vaira and Brocker each had openings to score for the Barons after the team had taken a 2-0 lead, but all missed the net.
With just over 10 minutes to play, B-CC scored for a third and final time. Again, it was Messer that set up the scoring opportunity with another good ball played into the middle. This time, it was Anderson waiting in the middle to put the ball into the net. He did so effortlessly, and B-CC went up 3-0.
B-CC cruised to the finish, winning the region and advancing to the state semifinals for the first time since 2007. “It’s amazing,” B-CC head coach Guillermo Melendez said of winning the regional championship, the first time he has done so as a head coach. “It’s amazing. These boys deserve it. There’s other teams like Whitman, Churchill and Gaithersburg, certainly they deserve it, but I’m going to be biased and say we deserve it just a little bit more.”
“They doubted us,” said Barons senior Nick Gandal referring to a Washington Post article which labeled the Barons as large underdogs throughout the playoffs. “They didn’t think we were going to beat one, they didn't think we were going to beat two, Whitman and Churchill…We’re going all the way.”
B-CC will face the number one seeded Sherwood Warriors in the state semifinals. Sherwood beat Howard in the regional championship game to advance to this stage. The Barons and the Warriors will face off at 2:30 on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dr. Henry A Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro.
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