By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
For 74 minutes the girls from PikeView and James Monroe battled furiously on the soccer pitch, each having opportunities to score and each team rising to the fore with their defense to keep the ball from the back of the net.
Courtney White’s rebound off a corner kick with 5:51 to play gave PikeView the only goal of the match and allowed the Panthers to defeat the Mavericks 1-nil on the PVHS campus Thursday evening.
“We tried to create confusion in the box, put her (White) in a position to catch the ball coming out and she did exactly what she was supposed to do,” said PikeView coach Sam Hill. “She was up in the box for the rebound off that corner. She hit it with her weak foot, it was her left foot, one time, and with all the confusion you get the ball in the back of the net. It was a good job on her part.”
The teams played even in the first half with both squads having opportunities to score but unable to find the net. In the second half PikeView came out the aggressor and controlled the tempo and most of the play the final 40 minutes was on the James Monroe side of the field.
“The game got stretched at times and we had to struggle, kind of like Tuesday,” Hill said. “We struggled in the first half, got ourselves organized and kept the ball a little bit better and created some quality chances. If you create the chances, the goals will come.”
Howdy Henritz leads the James Monroe girls. While his team lost, he was pleased with their performance.
“I think we played well. We passed well, defended well, moved the ball good,” Henritz said. “PikeView is always a strong team and I think we did very well against them.
“It was a great game. Everybody had shots. The keepers had saves. It was a good midfield game. We have been having trouble finishing, but we’ve been working on that. A 1-0 game against PikeView? I’m real happy.”
Hill also commented on the Mavericks’ play.
“James Monroe is well coached. Howdy knows what he is doing and has the team very, very organized. The defenders he had back there were very athletic. We didn’t have any type of speed advantage and they were solid on the ball,” Hill noted. “They didn’t miss any balls that they should play and they really did a nice job.”
With the win PikeView improved to 7-3 and will host Midland Trail on Tuesday. James Monroe is now 2-3-2 and will host Nicholas County, Saturday.
— Contact Bob Redd at