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Park View Edges Eagles; Solidifies Lead In District Standings

FARMVILLE – The Prince Edward County High School boys soccer team missed out on a chance to keep pace in the race for the Southside District championship on Thursday night with a 3-2 loss to visiting Park View.

The Eagles, who lost to the Dragons in the first meeting between the two clubs in South Hill, now stand two games behind PV, which is undefeated in Southside District play.

“We had our chances and missed them,” said PECHS head coach Sebastian Chirila. “Any team will have days like that. It was against the wrong team, unfortunately.

“I'm disappointed in the loss, but we executed our plan very well. We played well enough to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The Eagles had two key mistakes that if those were eliminated, could have changed a 3-2 loss into a 3-2 victory.

First, down 1-0 in the 34th minute, Liam Burke missed on a direct penalty kick. Burke shook it off and scored three minutes later on a pass from Bryce Dietrich. Burke's shot ricocheted off the left post and into the goal from about 12 yards out to knot the match at one goal apiece.

“He missed that shot, but he scored the next goal,” said Chirila. “Those are high-percentage shots, but they're not givens. He could've let it get him down, but he didn't, and he was able to tie the game not too long after that.”

Park View retook the lead in the 44th minute, and went ahead 3-1 on a goal that was the result of the PE back line kicking the ball back to the PE goalie Andrew Stringfellow as two Park View strikers closed in. Stringfellow was forced to play the ball with his feet, and didn't have the time to clear it with both PV players closing in. The result was a stick-back goal that gave the Dragons a 3-1 advantage.

With their backs against the wall, Prince Edward picked up the pace, and Bryce Deitrich raced past the Park View goalie, who was playing at the top of the box for an easy goal.

Despite two PV goalies playing up in the box and numerous opportunities, the Eagles were unable to replicate the results of Dietrich's goal.

“We had some mistakes and missed some opportunities, but those things are going to happen,” said Chirila.

With a two-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Eagles, the Southside District title is out of reach, barring a seismic collapse by the Dragons. However, PE is still in good position to reach the Region I playoffs as the SSD's No. 2 team.

“That's our goal right now,” said Chirila. “Because of the rain, we have a lot of games to make up, but we're still in good position to make the postseason. For a team that's really as young as we are, it's a good position to be in.”