The Tabb High Schools girls’ soccer team missed winning today’s Group 3A East championship by their fingertips — or rather the fingertips of goalkeeper Taylor Carr.
An overtime goal by Culpeper High’s Kendal Barlow, which was tipped by the hand of Carr and bounced off the crossbar into the net, handed the Tigers a tough 1-0 loss in front of their fans at Bailey Field.
The loss doesn’t end Tabb’s season, as the Tigers (18-2) still advance to play in the Group 3A state tournament that will be held next week at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
Carr, who made 10 saves for the Tigers, was confident she kept Barlow’s shot from completely crossing the goal line, despite a linesman ruling otherwise.
“I tipped it over and supposedly it crossed the line,” she said. “It was on the line, but it hadn’t fully crossed the line in my opinion.”
The loss was made even more frustrating for Tabb given their injury situation heading into the game. In addition to missing Leah Tyson, the Conference 27 Player of the Year, who injured her ankle in Thursday’s win against Brentsvill, Tabb Head Coach Kelle Shiflett said the Tigers “four serious injuries” to contend with.
Despite their injury woes, the Tigers held Culpeper (11-6) in check for most of the game. The Blue Devils didn’t post a serious scoring threat in the first half, and the Tigers’ defense managed to shut down lofted passes from Culpeper in the second half to keep the game scoreless heading into overtime.
After five minutes of scoreless play in the opening overtime period, Culpeper scored the game’s lone goal in the 86th minute. Barlow collected a pass along the left side before firing a high, curling shot on net. Carr managed to put a hand on the ball, but the shot hit off the underside of the crossbar and dropped across the line before Carr could pick it up.
Tabb’s offense was unable to score an equalizer in the final three minutes of play, and the game came to a close with Culpeper hoisting the Group 3A East trophy.
With the state tournament approaching, Carr said she today’s loss will “light a fire” under her team and that she expects Tabb to be formidable in Lynchburg.