By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE The Tri-Valley girls’ soccer team found itself in a familiar spot last Friday afternoon.
Specifically, the Lady Bears were playing in the championship match of the 20th annual Tri-Valley Invitational Girls’ Soccer Tournament.
After a 7-0 shutout victory over the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets, the Lady Bears were in the familiar position of accepting the first place trophy.
The Lady Bears have now won the tournament 13 times. In addition to capturing the title last year and in 2006, they earned the first place trophy the first 10 years the event was held.
“It’s a pride thing,” T-V Coach Mary Feusner said. “These girls want to keep that trophy here at home.”
T-V (3-0) and Eldred (1-2) squared off for the championship after recording wins over Ellenville and Monticello, respectively, on Monday, Aug. 31 in the tournament’s opening round.
T-V took control of the title match by scoring three goals in the first half. Junior striker Jakki Pugh scored two of those goals. Aurora Boyes assisted on the first goal, while Karyn Sheeley recorded the assist on the second goal.
The other first-half goal was scored by Kaitlyn Torres, who is the Lady Bears’ goalkeeper. She converted a penalty kick with about 15 minutes remaining until halftime.
Pugh added a pair of goals in the second half. She scored at 7:31 on an assist by Skylar Musa and at 12:00 on an assist from Rachel Adriaans.
Adriaans netted a goal at the 11:06 mark thanks to an assist from Musa.
Musa closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal at 19:17.
“We played well today,” Feusner said.
The veteran coach noted that a big reason the Lady Bears had such a good match was their performance the day before in a 7-1 non-league victory over The Family School.
“We had a nice lead in the match and I didn’t want us to score anymore goals, so we had a couple of 10-minute periods where all we did was work on our passing,” Feusner said of the contest between the Lady Bears and Lady Falcons.
The Lady Bears also spent several minutes of Friday’s title match honing their passing skills in the midfield.
Eldred Coach Kelly Robertson noted that one of her starting players had to sit out the match due to an injury and four other players were missing because they were working or on a family vacation. But she praised all of the Lady Yellowjackets who took to the field against T-V.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Robertson said. “Our forwards were able to get off some good shots, but some of those shots hit the crossbar or one of the posts. Our defenders did a good job of getting the ball up to the midfielders.”
Diana Schombs, who started the game in goal for the Lady Yellowjackets, made 10 saves. Kim Elvin, who took over as the team’s goalkeeper about 10 minutes into the second half so Schombs could play in the field, had four saves.
Torres had four saves for the Lady Bears.
Following the match, Feusner presented the first and second place trophies to the T-V and Eldred team captains, respectively, and announced the individual award winners and the members of the All-Tournament Team.
Pugh was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Sheeley earned the Miss Defense Award.
Laurie Schoonmaker of Monticello received the Miss Sportsmanship Award.
Joining Pugh and Sheeley on the All-Tournament Team were Katie Burns (Ellenville), Sabrina Castro (Ellenville), Kim Elvin (Eldred), Lauren Hazen (Eldred), Vicky Mann (Ellenville), Skylar Musa (T-V), Heather Ouellette (Eldred), Annie Purcell (Monticello) and Taylor Reardon (Monticello).