JAMES CITY — Jamestown High's boys soccer team already had its Group 4A state tournament berth in hand when it walked onto the Wanner Stadium field Friday to face Hanover for the South Region title. And winning the regional wasn't necessarily going to earn the Eagles a better state semifinal berth, because the North Region finalists appear to be even.
In short, winning a regional title was about pride, and the Eagles displayed plenty in beating the Hawks 2-0. Duncan McDevitt, a junior who led the way with a goal and an assist, said the pride was in winning a regional crown for the seniors.
"We have 11 seniors and we really wanted them to go out with a bang," McDevitt said. "Just to get it done is huge."
Coach Bobby O'Brien, whose Eagles (18-1) play the North runner-up on Friday at 2 p.m. at Amherst High in Lynchburg, said winning the regional title was about the pride of accomplishment for his players. The program won five consecutive Region I titles from 2008-12 — while also winning two AA state titles in that span — but were eliminated in the regional semifinals in 2013 and the quarters a year ago.
"This was a personal, will-to-win type thing for the guys," O'Brien said. "It wasn't about getting a better matchup in the state tournament."
The Eagles got their usual share of good looks on goal early, but were stopped several times by Hawks goalie Adam Farnsworth, who drew a compliment from O'Brien for his net-minding. But the Jamestown defense was even stingier, despite the absence of Kyle Wade and the early yellow card to Wilson Coughenour, who sat because O'Brien did not want to risk a red card that could keep him out of the state semi.
"We were very organized defensively," O'Brien said. "We had to move a bunch of people around, but we adapted well."
"They had a couple of set pieces, but they didn't threaten goal in the run of play."
Ryan Satira, Ben Carper and Riley Fitzgerald were among the Eagles holding the fort in front of goalie Trevor Hartnett. Jamestown got its breakthrough goal with just under five minutes left in the first half, Wolons adding to his area record by scoring goal No. 45 of the season on a dish from McDevitt.
"We were countering off of a corner and it went to Duncan," Wolons said. "He played a good through-ball to me.
"I got one-versus-one with the goalie and just chipped him."
McDevitt added the insurance goal with about nine minutes left in the second half.
He scored on a free kick from about 20 yards.
"The first half, I had a similar one and I just didn't hit it right," McDevitt said. "And on the last one, it was a really good spot to take a free kick and (O'Brien) said `'Hit it hard.'"
And Jamestown is going to Lynchburg as regional champions. Big, but not big enough.
"It's a great feeling, but it's that big one we've got to get," Wolons said, referring to the state title.
JAMESTOWN 2, HANOVER 0
Half: 1-0. Goals: Wolons, McDevitt. Assist: McDevitt. Records: Jamestown 18-1, Hanover 15-2-3.
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.