By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
EAST RIVER —
Five different girls scored and Lexy O’Dell had three assists as the PikeView Panthers won their sixth straight Class AA Region 3, Section 2 championship, defeating the Bluefield Beavers 5-0, Thursday evening at a cold and snowy East River Soccer Complex.
“I thought we were fantastic other than when we had about a five or six minute spell after we scored the first goal. Other than that, I was very pleased with the play,” said PikeView coach Sam Hill.
“The goals we scored, especially those three in the first half, those were quality goals, combination plays and we had runs tht created opportunities.”
Bluefield, again playing irongirl soccer as all 11 girls played all 80 minutes, hung tight in the early going. PikeView broke through and took the lead in the 12th minute on a goal by Courtney Gray.
The Lady Beavers continued to play their scrappy defense and for the next 18 minutes held the Lady Panthers from reaching the back of the net. In the 29th minute Shyann Carr’s goal made it 2-0.
PikeView’s final first half goal came in the 36th minute from Sophie Klein. O’Dell provided assists on all three scores.
Just as the second half began, the skies opened and snow began falling. Coming down heavy at times with strong crosswinds, the playing field became slickened but that did not stop PikeView from adding to its lead.
O’Dell was on the other end of the scoring play as she scored on a pa from Tyler Farmer in the 15th minute. The game’s final goal came from Brooke Baker in the 27th minute, a long kick from about 35 yards out on a pass from Emilee Nelson to make it 5-0.
“With the field conditions we had a couple of slips, a couple of mistakes that you are going to have in this type of environment,” Hill said. “I can’t say too much critical about our play, it’s about as good as we’ve played this year.”
After going winless a year ago in regular season play and finishing the season 1-21, Bluefield finished this season with a 3-9-3 record. First year coach Ricky Lester praised his young team’s effort put forward the entire season.
“I’m proud of them. In the regular season last year they were 0-20,” Lester said. “This year we fought through the beginning of the year having or not having enough players. Once we got that in order we fought through injuries.
“Considering what happened last year and this year, it has been a great success with these girls this year. I’m very proud of them. They played very hard and never quit, played down to the last second and that’s all you can ask of them.”
PikeView (14-5-1) advances to take on Nicholas County in regional action next Thursday at the East River Soccer Complex at 5:30 p.m. The teams met once this season and Hill knows his team is in for a battle.
“They’re a pretty good team. They’ve got two center-mids that are good players and they’ve got a girl up top that’s got good speed,” Hill said. “We beat them 1-0 there. We were missing players, they were missing players. We both had players on the same AAU basketball team in Washington and we had a couple of girls sick and they had an injury or two. It will be a tough game for us.”
— Contact Bob Redd at