One poor minute of play proved costly for the T.C. Williams boys soccer team in its 3-1 season-ending loss to Chantilly on May 25. The first round Northern Region postseason contest took place at Chantilly High School.
Chantilly jumped out to a fast start and the Titans, who played an exceptional game overall, never quite recovered. The Chargers scored consecutive goals, within a minute of one another, before the contest was even 11 minutes old. The first score came from senior forward Jamal Umar, who received a short, up-field pass from a teammate before sending a crossing shot into the left side of the net for a goal and a 1-0 Chantilly lead with just over 30 minutes remaining in the half.
Chantilly faithful were still buzzing over that goal before the Chargers, a minute later, struck again when senior midfielder Steven Mashinski, during a Chargers' offensive rush, sent a crossing pass from the right corner to the far post area. There, teammate Kevin McBride, a senior defender, pounded the ball in from close range to make it 2-0 home team.
"We started out good and it helped a lot," said Chantilly’s Umar. "In our last game against Robinson [a 4-1 loss in the Concorde District finals] we got off to a bad start and that affected us the whole game."
Later in the first half, T.C. found the Chargers' net when senior forward Conor Boyle, off the right side, headed the ball into the net from close range. The assist came from Manuel Benites, whose free kick from 25 yards out set Boyle up on the score, which got the Titans within 2-1 with 14:19 remaining in the half.
In the second half, the Titans had several near goals but could never find the net. Just past the midway mark of the second half, an apparent T.C. score was nullified by an offside call, quieting the Titan fans in the far side bleachers and bringing a relieved roar from the Chantilly fandom.
Chantilly defenders, on a couple of occasions in the latter half, made goal-saving clears right in front of the net off of scorching T.C. line drive shots.
Chantilly clinched the win with just inside three minutes to play on an open net goal by Reynaldo Chavez.
It marked the second time Chantilly has defeated the Titans this spring. Early in the season, Goche's squad defeated coach Martin Nickley's Titans, 2-1, at Chantilly on April 9.
— Rich Sanders