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Chargers Strike Early, Often

'Thunder and Lightning' help Chantilly cruise into AAA state girls' soccer final.

Chantilly coach Melissa Bibbee had a new nickname for the talented senior duo of Cortlyn Bristol and Katie Menzie following the Chargers' 3-0 domination of Kempsville in the AAA girls' soccer state semifinals at Westfield High School Saturday afternoon. June 6.

Meet "Thunder and Lightning" and judging by their performance in the semifinals, they can strike at a second's notice. That's the only way to explain how Chantilly scored three goals in 15 minutes to eliminate any suspense against Kempsville, the No. 2 seed from the Eastern region.

Bibbee calls Menzie the thunder because her ball control and passing in the midfield sets the stage for Bristol's goal scoring prowess. Or as the coach puts it, "Lightning is what kills."

It sure seemed to wound the spirit of the opposition Saturday. Bristol had a goal thanks to a beautiful set-up from Menzie and added an assist later in the game. Seniors Kaitlyn Manley and Kristen Melchiori also had goals in game's opening 15 minutes.

"I was expecting a close game," said Bristol. "So we came out really hard and it worked to our advantage."

It also helps having two talented players finally in tune with each other's strengths. Bibbee said Saturday's effort was Chantilly's best in quite some time, with the team getting by on its goal scoring ability rather than playing a complete game.

The biggest reason for that was Kempsville inability to get the ball, something that had a lot to do with Menzie and Bristol controlled possession throughout. The coach said the two had been a bit out of sync in recent games.

Now the dynamic duo moves onto Sunday afternoon's AAA state final. Will "Thunder and Lightning" strike twice in one weekend? It'd be wise to show up early to find out.

"They're very different," said Bibbee. "But when they're both clicking ... it's pretty deadly."