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Chargers Look for More

Despite 5-0-1 start, Chantilly girls’ soccer searches for consistency, health

On paper, at least, the Chantilly girls’ soccer team’s 5-0-1 record looks impressive. In those five victories, the Chargers have scored an average of 3.8 goals per game, allowing their opponents to score all of one time.

But in reality, Chantilly has struggled with a few things thus far, medical reports not excluded.

During a 1-0 win against Langley on March 20, senior midfielder Cortlyn Bristol (William & Mary) suffered what was eventually learned to be a concussion, though she was unaware of its severity at the time.

So Bristol didn’t miss any time, suiting up four nights later for a 1-1 tie with South County on March 24. The concussion worsened, forcing Bristol out until at least the Chargers’ first game back after spring break, an April 14 home date against Fairfax.

Furthermore, James Madison-bound Katie Menzie, also a senior midfielder, suffered a calf injury about two weeks ago. And though she hasn’t missed any time, the injury has forced Menzie to play at about “75 percent,” according to Chantilly head coach Melissa Bibbee.

“We’re not playing the soccer that I want to be playing right now, but I want to be playing our best soccer at the end [of the season]. So hopefully it’ll pick up,” said the second-year coach. “We’ve got break, which will give us a rest and hopefully heal some of our players.”

<b>BRISTOL AND MENZIE</b> are two of the area’s best players, as they combined to score 18 goals and 13 assists last spring. Bristol was a first team All-Concorde District pick on that 12-5-2 team and Menzie was voted to the second team. So far this season, Bristol has seven goals and one assist, while Menzie, hurt calf or not, has two and two.

A pleasant surprise, Bibbee said, had been the play of senior midfielder Morgan Schack, who had tallied two goals on the season before suffering a concussion during that South County game. Schack, a Bluefield recruit, will be out for at least another month.

All of the injuries, though they might not be reflected by Chantilly’s record, have resulted in some up-and-down moments. The Chargers toppled Herndon, 2-0, on Monday night but it wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score may indicate, Bibbee said.

“We have to be more consistent,” said Bibbee, who spent 10 years at Langley before taking the Chantilly job. “Playing a full 80 minutes has been one of the team goals, and I’m not sure that we’ve really done that to date. We’ve played a 25-minute spurt here, a 10-minute spurt there, but I think we need to bring the intensity for a full 80 minutes and then we’ll see.”