Local teams continue soccer dominance

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When state semifinal play started Thursday morning, there were seven local teams still alive in the state tournament. By the time play was over Saturday night, four were crowned state champions.

"I think this sport is probably the best out of any in central Virginia," said Charlottesville senior Kyle Lehnert.

Western Albemarle had both its boys and girls soccer teams win state titles, along with Albemarle's girls team. Those three teams have combined for six state championships since 2016.

Charlottesville High School's boys team won its first state championship since 2004 on Saturday in dramatic fashion. Ben Hui Ryang scored in double overtime to give the Black Knights a 2-1 win over Chancellor.

"I mean, there are some great players that have come out of it that are playing Division I soccer and men and women both sides," Lehnert added, "its just incredible."

Joining those four winning teams were William Monroe and Monticello's girls teams in the Class 3 state semifinals. Both of those teams were playing in the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

"To have, what, four teams from the Jefferson District go to states for the girls side," said Albemarle girls soccer coach Amy Sherrill, "William Monroe knocking on the door, central Virginia soccer is not something to joke about. They're the real deal and we're lucky to be a part of it."

Since the VHSL went to six classes in 2014, 11 local teams have won state championships -- five on the boys side and five girls teams.

Western Albemarle's girls team won their third straight Saturday. The Warriors boys team won their third since 2014. Albemarle's girls team won its second in three seasons and Charlottesville's boys team won its first.

Albemarle High School's boys soccer team has two state championships in that span, and made it to the region semifinals this season.

"Its very high quality," said Western Albemarle senior forward Gabe Nafziger. "We get to play against each other all the time when we're growing up as well. It just makes us all better and you see it paying off right here on the field."