By Virginia Dream FC
In a rematch of the game on May 20th, Virginia Dream FC hosted cross-county rivals Alexandria Reds at Meridian HS in Falls Church, VA. Virginia Dream FC tied the defending conference champions on a dramatic late goal by Demetrius Shepard-Lewis, ending the game at 2-2.
The game started with Virginia Dream creating dangerous opportunities in the attack.
They were rewarded in the 7th minute when Paul Bangura scored on a shot from 18 yards out, putting it past the diving Reds goalkeeper. The play started with center back Nick Duccheschi carrying the ball forward and passing the ball to Gabe Soriano on the right touchline. Soriano turned, and with the outside of his left foot, curled the ball to a streaking Terrel Williamson. Then Williamson received the ball and evaded two defenders at the top of the box. He passed the ball across the top of the box to the left side. Bangura received it, shot it, and scored.
Alexandria Reds increased their pressure and scored two goals thanks to Christopher Barnard. The first goal came in the 24th minute and another followed just 15 minutes later. The first half ended with the Reds clinging to a 2-1 lead.
The second half started in the same manner as the first with Virginia Dream creating momentum and chance after chance. Both teams had multiple opportunities to score, but possession favored the Dream.
In the 90th minute, substitute Andy Hernandez found the overlapping Henry Mordica on the left side. Mordica took one touch, looked up, and spotted Shepard-Lewis making a run at the far post. Mordica crossed the ball, and Shepard-Lewis elevated to meet the ball and headed it squarely into the goal.
Despite the pressure by the Reds in extra time, the Dream defense held strong as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
Photo Credit: Jared Soares