STAUNTON — It was the kind of game that kept you on your toes until the end.
From a Central Woodstock goal off a fast break within the first three minutes to an equalizer penalty kick and a go ahead goal for Lee with minutes remaining in the first half, Lee played to the last second in its 2-1 win over Central Woodstock in the 2A Regional Quarterfinals.
“We played a heck of a first half. We dominated, we had good possession we just didn’t finish,” Robert E. Lee coach Homes Tehrani said. “Overall I’m happy but we’re still not playing our best game. We still have to settle down and these types of games is a new area for us. We’re getting there, but we need to get over our nervousness.”
Lee senior Hunter Otteni picked up both of Lee’s goals for the day. His first came off a penalty kick when a Central Woodstock player was called for a handball in the box 12 minutes after the Falcons scored their first and only goal.
Otteni’s second goal came off an assist from freshman Kyle Stenzel in the final four minutes of the first half.
“(Otteni) had a great game,” Tehrani said. “He’s the most experienced player we have at this level. He’s our go to man.”
Freshman keeper Cullen Wallace came up big for the Leemen as he made nine saves for the day, two of which came in the final 15 minutes as Lee struggled to hold possession of the ball.
Tehrani said the biggest weakness he saw from his team on Monday was their nerves coming through as the stakes of winning have escalated.
With seven freshman and three sophomores and only four seniors to help lead the team, Tehrani said the teams age and inexperience can be a challenge as they trudge deeper into the postseason.
“They know whats at stake. They know what it is that they need to do,” Tehrani said. “I think there’s a lack of experience at this level that’s kind of catching up with us. We’re there, we just need to use the previous game as experience and start playing to our full potential.”
With the win, Lee advances to the 2A Regional semifinals on Wednesday. The team will host the winner of Prince Edward v. Bruton.