Warriors Look for Dream Ending to Perfect Season

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

With 22 wins already in the books, the Western Albemarle boys soccer team is two wins away from an undefeated, state championship season.

After wrapping up a region title to improve to 22-0 last Friday, the Warriors turned their attention to Friday's state semifinal matchup against Culpeper County.

As dominant as they've been throughout the season, even the Warriors didn't initially know they could go undefeated.

"We always have a goal decision at the beginning of the season where we talk about our goals and none of this stuff was on there," said senior defender Michael Nafziger. "We didn't talk about going undefeated, we didn't talk about any of that. We just talked about getting better every game. We talked about working hard in practice."

As the season wore on and the number in the win column grew, the Warriors started to realize they had something special.

"Collectively as a team, we have really good chemistry," says senior midfielder and defender Chris Ferguson. "Each day of practice every guy brings it 100%, and I think that's really allowed us to get to this point."

The Warriors are in the state playoffs for the first time in their careers.
It's the first time for Western in more than a decade.

"I didn't really realize how important it was when I was younger," said senior forward Forrest White. "Every time we went out in regionals, obviously it was sad but I didn't quite get it, didn't feel how important it was. Now that I kind of get that, it would definitely be a great feeling to win."

The thought of winning a championship has undoubtedly crossed the minds of every Western player, but with two wins left on the way to a title, they still say they're focused on one game at a time.

"I'm not really going to consider that a possibility until we win," Nafziger said. "I mean it's just soccer. You go out there and you play it the same way every time no matter who your opponent is. I think it's just eyes on the ball, play the next half of soccer, and we can celebrate when we're done."

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