By DAN STILLWELL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
PikeView soccer coach Sam Hill knows about big scorers.
His daughter Laura Hill holds the state record for most goals in the season, 59. On the boys’ side, hat tricks were the norm for former standout Will Webster.
So focusing on Shady Spring’s Lyndsey Thompson Thursday night at Paul Cline Stadium was a no-brainer.
“We marked her the whole game, and that’s something I’ve not really done in my coaching career,” Hill said after PikeView took a 4-0 victory.
“I did it for two reasons — to give us the best opportunity to win the game, and to have the experience of doing it going into the post season.
It was frustrating for Thompson, who was trying to set a new state career scoring record. She’s currently tied with former Sissonville standout Lydia Murray with 132 goals.
“They had five people on me,” Thompson said. “I was really annoyed.”
Thompson, battling a hip injury, had her chances, including two long shots on goal and two that were off-frame.
Her best chance came midway through the second half, when she raced to the box, sidestepped a defender, and fired to the right. The ball failed to curve inward, however, and sailed just outside the post.
“It was my first really good shot, but I was afraid I’d strain my hip,” Thompson said.
Coach Rachel Kincaid said, “It was very frustrating. I’m frustrated and I know Lyndsey is.”
PikeView (12-5-1) had little trouble scoring, however, connecting on four of six shots on goal.
Courtney Gray smacked Brooke Baker’s corner kick into the net in just the second minute of the contest. Kari Shrewsbury and Lexi had goals and Shyann Carr and Callie Lamb had assists as the Lady Panthers made it 3-0 by halftime.
Brittany Moore added an unassisted goal late in the second half for PikeView.
“We’ve had balance all year,” Hill said. “Lexi is our leader with 10, but we’ve got a lot of girls with six or seven. We’ve had to have balance with the team we’ve got.”
PikeView has three players injured and lost for the season, including forward Hope Nester, the team’s leading scorer two seasons ago, midfielder Madison May and promising freshman Maya Klein.
The most experienced part of the team, has stepped up.
“That’s been our strength this year,” Hill said. “Charleston Catholic wore us out, 6-0, but otherwise we haven’t given up more than two goals other than a 3-3 tie with James Monroe.
“Our consistent play is on the back line, with Crysta Meekins, Courtney White, Cheyanne Carr at sweeper and Kassie Catron and Bethany Bryant. Most of them are three-year starters, and Kassie has played four years.”
Goalkeeper Kristen Brinkley finished with six saves.
The Panthers will enter sectional play against Mingo Central at 7 p.m. Monday at the East River Soccer Complex.