Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

August 19, 2012

Two goals enough as PikeView launches season with win

GARDNER — Among the good news for PikeView soccer fans coming out of Saturday’s 2-0 season-opening boys win over Robert C. Byrd High was that the defense pitched a shutout and that the Panthers got off 17 shots.

The fact that just two of the 17 were goals on their home turf gives PikeView “something to work on,” said head coach Sam Hill.

The Panthers got their first goal with 5:10 off the clock. Senior Nathaniel Ellis fought through a crowd in front of the net, took a sharp assist from Vaughn Campbell, and booted the ball toward the left post.

The ball bounced off of defender Ross Thompson on its way in, and became the only goal of the first half.

Hill said, “Nathaniel got a good touch on it. He put a lot of pace on that ball toward goal. I think it was goal-bound, whether that kid touches it or not. I think he had the inside post over there and it would have deflected in anyway.”

The RCB Eagles (0-2) were playing their second game in 20 hours after losing 4-2 to Princeton on Friday evening. Hill said he thought that game “wore on them some.”

Robert C. Byrd head coach Todd Kiger said, “We’re so young and inexperienced, we just have those games where the guys come out flat. It seemed like we were half a bubble off, the whole game. You end up having games like that.”

At halftime, Hill said, the conversation was about “some of the simple things we could do during the second half to take advantage of where we were strong, and where we might be able to take advantage of them being tired.”

“The biggest things were getting the ball out wide and playing to the corners, and first touches — making sure we were the first to touch the ball. And doing that allowed us to play 90 percent of the half on their half of the field.”

“From that standpoint, I was tickled to death. We’ve just got to figure out a way to put the ball in the back of the net.”

The Eagles got few opportunities after intermission. PikeView capitalized on one of theirs during the 52nd minute. Sophomore Brandon Calfee had a “gimme” that did not reach the goal, but the ball came back immediately to PikeView and Calfee made it good.

“That was a nice assist from Noah Harrison,” Hill said.

Calfee said, “It was a nice cross. I meant to hit it with my foot, but instead it hit off my shin guard and went in. I probably would have missed it if I had hit it with my foot.”

PikeView goalkeeper, freshman Ted White, was credited with one save.

Calfee said, “The [PikeView] defense was great. Jason [Weitzel] and Alex [Testerman] worked really good in the center. We had a bunch of people we switched out on defense. Even the freshmen, even the younger players were able to work well.”

Hill said, “To play with some quality, especially in the second half, to create those chances, certainly makes us feel good. It also gives us something to work on — to figure out how to put it in the back of the net.”

The Panthers must be able to convert “set pieces” this year to stay ahead, Hill said.

“With the quality of the team I think we’ve got this year, a lot of our games are going to be decided off those re-start type of goals, whether they’re direct kicks, corner kicks, et cetera,” Hill said.

“We spent a lot of time talking about that, and we expect a lot, both defensively and from an attacking standpoint.”

“We’ve got high expectations. We’ve got a quality team on the boys’ side this year. We’ve got 15, 16 kids that have played a lot of soccer. We’ve got good size, physically speaking.

“We’re still working on combinations where we need to have players to be successful, but we think we can win several games this year.”

RCB standouts included defenders Adrian Moneypenny and Cody Young, Kiger said. He said Young “never played defense before in his life. He was playing back there because of some players who aren’t yet eligible, and he’s doing an admirable job.”

Kiger said about Saturday’s match, “We’ll close the door behind us and go on from there.”

The Panthers are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday at 6 p.m. taking on Independence. All of PikeView’s first three outings are home matches.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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