The third part of our RVA HS playoff preview will be all about the class 5 teams in the area. This region is hyper-competitive. As Deep Run coach Steven Chapman puts it, Region 5C “has tremendous parity across the board.…
The third part of our RVA HS playoff preview will be all about the class 5 teams in the area. This region is hyper-competitive. As Deep Run coach Steven Chapman puts it, Region 5C “has tremendous parity across the board. We really emphasize that any team can win on a given day.” The Deep Run Wildcats are the defending region champs.
As with every region, both teams that reach the region final in 2023 will punch a ticket to the state tournament quarterfinals, with the winner earning a home game.
We will start with Deep Run, as they are the 1 seed in this region. The Wildcats will look to lean on their stingy defense that gave up only five goals all season long. You read that right, no need to go back. Their minuscule 0.36 GAA (goals against average) includes 11 clean sheets. The only blemishes on the Wildcats 13-1-1 record were a loss at Cosby and a tie against Glen Allen. Deep Run has quality wins over Midlothian, Glen Allen, Collegiate, Godwin (2), and Freeman (2) this season. The Wildcats will open the postseason with the winner of JR Tucker v. Hermitage.
Deep Run P2W – Junior midfielder Gianna Chrapek is a very talented and creative player. She shows great awareness when receiving the ball, choosing the right turn to start the attack for the Wildcats. Gianna has committed to play at the University of Dayton. Chrapek’s midfield partner, Ava Legault, is also a junior, and also a very talented midfielder, with a knack for scoring goals. These two are a big reason why Deep Run are not only favorites in this region, but one of the favorites in class 5 this playoff season.
Midlothian (11-5) earned the 2 seed in the region, and feel prepared going into the playoffs. “We chose tough teams out of conference to battle test us,” said coach Brandon Flowers. Midlo came away with quality wins against Glen Allen, Godwin, Clover Hill (2), and James River in their regular season finale. Flowers went on to say that the Trojans “understand Region 5C is loaded with talented teams, however, we understand that when we are converting goals at an efficient rate, we are a difficult matchup.” Midlo starts their playoff campaign against the winner of Godwin and Highland Springs.
Midlothian P2W – When you have a returning 1st Team All-Region and 1st Team All-Met selection, they are typically going to be someone to pay attention to. Madelyn Radtke is just that. Coach Flowers talked about how Radtke is equally talented on offense and defense, her elite fitness level, high soccer IQ, and how much she simply enjoys playing. The Trojans also have a 1st Team All Region and 2nd Team All-Met selection in Megan Dwyer in the midfield. Radtke and Dwyer will be a big part of the Trojans playoff run, but how far can they lead Midlo?
Freeman finished their season 10-4-1 and are the 3 seed in this bracket. The Mavericks resume includes wins over Godwin, Collegiate, Hanover, Atlee, and a tie with Glen Allen. Returning 2nd Team All-Met and All-Region selection Ava Jung Ava Jung M Douglas S. Freeman (VA) | 2023 State VA controls the midfield and tempo of the game for Freeman. Jung has committed to Cornell. Head coach, Bill Bartoszek, also cited a strong game Freeman played against Deep Run. The Mavericks are working towards a potential third matchup with Deep Run in the region final. Freeman has dropped both to the Wildcats this year, but as coach Bartoszek reminds us, “one of the toughest things to do in sports, is to beat a team three times.” The Mavericks will open their postseason with the winner of Meadowbrook and Clover Hill.
Freeman P2W – Walker Bristow is a versatile player for the Mavericks. She can pop up just about anywhere on the field, which makes it tough to track her. Walker “is a very sneaky player… she just puts strain on the defenses she plays against,” says coach Bartoszek. Bristow has committed to Appalachain State.
Prince George comes into the Region 5C tournament as the 4 seed. The Royals finished 9-5-1 and third in the Central District. A win over Thomas Dale was PG’s best on the season. The Royals will open up the playoffs with the winner of Glen Allen v. LC Bird.
Speaking of Glen Allen, the Jaguars (8-4-2) are the 5 seed in this bracket. Glen Allen had some impressive wins over Tucker, Godwin, and Freeman this Spring. The Jaguars were also a 5 seed in 2022 and made the region championship game, upsetting Midlothian on the way. That upset gave the Glen Allen girls soccer program it’s first appearance in a state tournament. The ’22 Jaguars team also graduated the All-Met player of the year in Kiley Fitzgerald. They will have to find a way to replace Fitzgerald’s goal production in this edition of the playoffs to find similar success.
Clover Hill ended the season 8-8. The Cavs best win was over Matoaca back in March. Clover Hill will take on Meadowbrook in the first round, and look forward to a potential chance to upset Freeman in the quarters.
The 9-7 Godwin Eagles are the last team we will cover in this preview. Eagles coach, Christopher Thornton, says they are “feeling very confident entering the tournament. We have put together a string of good performances during the second half of the season.” After coach Thornton gave me this quote, his Eagles beat Glen Allen 2-0 in their last regular season game. Godwin also has wins over Freeman, Tucker, and a 7-1 thrashing of Maggie Walker, who had only given up 11 goals prior to that game. “We love the way we are playing currently,” said Thornton. Godwin will face Highland Springs in the first round of the tournament, setting up for what could be a juicy matchup with Midlo in the quarters.
Godwin P2W – London Serafim has 14 goals on the season. That is quite impressive for anyone, let alone a Freshman. The Richmond United product will look to score her first high school playoff goal(s). Junior Katie Britton is also an Eagle to keep an eye on. She has 6 goals of her own, and 11 assists. These two hope to carry the Eagles through a tough bracket.
Based on their season, Deep Run should make the final of Region 5C from the top half of this bracket, and make another state tournament appearance. Glen Allen will be one of the teams looking to take that spot from them. On the bottom half of the bracket, the trio of Midlothian, Godwin, and Freeman will be fighting for the other spot. My instincts are telling me I should not pick one, because I will be wrong, but I’ll go with a Deep Run v. Midlo final.
Next up will be the Region 5C Boys!