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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

TRI-VALLEY'S GRAZ Gelsomino (11) kicks the ball away from Monticello’s Tiffany Washington (6).

Monticello, Chester
Headed for Finals

By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE — September 7, 2001 – The Monticello and Chester girls’ soccer teams picked up their first wins of the young season Tuesday afternoon.
Monticello defeated Tri-Valley by a 2-1 margin and Chester shut out Eldred 2-0 in the opening round of the Tri-Valley Soccer Tournament.
Chester (1–0) and Monticello (1–0) will meet at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the tournament’s championship match. Eldred (0–1) and Tri-Valley (0–1) will face off in the consolation match, which is slated for 9 a.m. tomorrow.
In Tuesday’s first opening round match, however, it appeared as though the host Lady Bears would be in the championship match. For the majority of the first half, Tri-Valley kept the ball on the Monticello side of the field and fired several shots on goal.
But Monticello goalie Erin Shuart was up to the task, stopping all of those attempts.
Lady Bear goalie Lauren Dilberian, who made 19 saves in the game, matched Shuart’s efforts for most of the half.
With 7:07 left until halftime, Monticello defender Kelly Bennett changed that. She beat Dilberian with a low shot to the goalie’s left to make it a 1-0 game.
The Lady Panthers, who outshot the Lady Bears by a 27-14 margin, grabbed a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the second half when midfielder Candice Sheerer scored.
With 17:28 remaining on the clock, Lady Bear striker Liz Lowe sent a high floating shot towards the Monticello goal cage. The ball ducked just under the crossbar and over Shuart’s outstretched hands to put Tri-Valley on the board.
Squelching what was possibly the Lady Bears’ best opportunity to score the tying goal, Shuart, who recorded 10 saves in the contest, stopped a hard shot by Lowe with four minutes left.
Monticello coach Kristi Dean noted that her halftime pep talk helped the Lady Panthers play better in the final 40 minutes.
“They were scaring me,” Dean said of the first half. “We were coming out dry since we had two days off.”
The improvement in the second half eliminated Dean’s fears.
“Now we’re ready to go for the season,” Dean said of her team, which was slated to play Cornwall yesterday.
For her part, T-V coach Mary Feusner was busy juggling her line-up. Due to various reasons, such as medical concerns and family vacations, several varsity players had not completed the required number of pre-season practices and therefore could not play in the match.
That meant that five junior varsity players were on the Lady Trojan roster for Tuesday’s match.
“They played fine for their first [varsity] outing,” Feusner said of those younger players. “I’m probably going to keep them up for awhile.”
She added that there were “spurts of good play” from those younger players and the older varsity players in the contest.
But the entire team needs to improve in one particular area.
“We had a little too much standing around out there,” Feusner said. “The players need to realize that this is a soccer game, not a stand around game.”
Have Shots, Don’t Score
In the afternoon’s second match, Eldred outshot Chester by a 15-10 margin. But Chester held a 2-0 advantage in goals when the final whistle sounded.
Chester’s Nicole Peluso gave her team a 1-0 lead midway through the first half. Peluso gained a step on the Eldred defense in the Lady Yellow Jacket goal box and sent the ball behind goalie Casey Williams.
Despite each team taking several shots on goal, the score remained the same until late in the second half. With 5:50 left in the contest, Tonya Hipsman sent a low shot to the middle of the net past Williams for a 2-0 lead.
Williams made 12 saves in the contest, while Chester goalie Kellie Luciana preserved the shutout by recording 10 saves.
“It’s nice to be in the championship game,” said Chester coach Brenda Winslow, noting that her team has lost in the first round of the tournament the past few years. “Getting the win and scoring two goals is a good way to start the season.”
Eldred coach Laura Schneider observed two areas of the game where her squad needs improvement.
“We had a lack of communication today,” Schneider said. “And we had problems going to the ball.”
She was encouraged by her team’s offense, however.
“We had a lot of shots, we just couldn’t get them in (the goal cage),” Schneider commented.

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