Martinsville boys soccer

Martinsville's boys soccer team celebrates with the Region 2C championship trophy Thursday night at Smith River Sports Complex.

Shot after shot after shot Martinsville's boys soccer team put up in Thursday's Region 2C championship game at Smith River Sports Complex.

The Bulldogs put up 24 shots in 80 minutes of play, and had just one goal to show for it. On the other side, Giles put up just 10 shots, with also one goal.

Martinsville controlled the ball for much of the contest, and had a dozen near misses, but they were finally able to come through in the second overtime for a 2-1 victory over the Spartans for the region championship.

The championship is Martinsville's first in the region since 2015. The win also kept Martinsville's undefeated record in tact, improving the Bulldogs to 20-0-2 on the year.

Martinsville played aggressive and fast throughout the contest, and were able to get past the Giles defense fairly easily. The put up 10 shots in the first half, two of which hit the crossbar, five went wide, and three were saved. The Bulldogs finally scored in stoppage time after Reese Bell sent a corner kick inside, it was headed down by Saul Devora, and eventually kicked into the goal by Aiden Self.

While the Bulldogs kept the pressure, and much of the possession, early in the second, Giles evened the score 14 minutes into the half on a free kick by Brady Whitehead to Michael Shelor, who put it past Martinsville keeper Michael Devora.

The goal shifted much of the momentum, but Michael Devora did his part in goal, making three great saves to keep the Spartans at bay.

Michael Devora finished with seven saves for the Bulldogs.

Martinsville's seeming bad luck continued through the half as they continued to put up shots. Unlike in the first half, though, they couldn't put one through as the time expired, and the teams finished regulation in a 1-1 tie.

Both teams got one shot off in the first overtime period. It wasn't until the second overtime Martinsville finally found what became the game-winner. Wilson Bowles put up a shot from way outside that was tipped by the Giles keeper, and bounced right in front of the foot of Khalil Travis, who tapped it in and immediately started celebrating with teammates.

Giles went for one more shot attempt in the final minutes of the overtime period, but it was sent out by Aaron Dalton on a non-goalie save that clinched the win for the Bulldogs.

The loss is the first of the season for Giles (18-1).

The win means Martinsville will get to host another game, this time in the VHSL Class 2 state tournament. The Bulldogs will host their state quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday at Smith River Sports Complex, taking on the loser of Thursday's contest between Graham and Richlands.

Cara Cooper is a sports writer for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at

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