NEWPORT NEWS, VA (WTKR)- In a season that's been nothing short of remarkable, the ending was crushing, as Lionbridge FC's first loss of 2022 will also be its last.
Sam McCann's goal in the 63rd minute turned out to be the game winner, pushing Vermont Green FC past Lionsbridge, 2-1, in the first round of the USL League Two playoffs at TowneBank Stadium on Friday night.
"Devastated," defender Sam Hall said following the match. "I'm devastated because it was such a good run this season."
Vermont got on the board first, scoring in the 43rd minute when Charlie Adams found the back of the net, but Lionsbridge would not be in a hole for long. After Maxi Hopfer was taken down in the box, Sam Hall stepped up and hammered home a penalty kick in the 45th minute to tie the game at 1-1.
It looked as though things would swing in the home team's favor in the second half, when Vermont's Jack Cloherty was sent off after receiving a red card in the 59th minute, but McCann scored his goal four minutes later and Lionsbridge could not muster a comeback. Despite the loss, the squad could not be more thankful for the support it received from its fans this season.
"Ultimately we're out here playing in front of them," head coach Chris Whalley said. "We're very very proud of all the support we get from them. We do definitely appreciate them, just sorry that we couldn't keep this magical season alive."
Lionsbridge FC finished the regular season 16-0-2, 12-0-2 in league play. The squad won the Chesapeake Division for the first time in the franchise's five year history.