By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE The Monticello and Tri-Valley girls’ soccer teams started off their 2008 seasons on the right foot on Tuesday afternoon at the 19th annual Tri-Valley Invitational.
In the opening game of the tournament, the host T-V Lady Bears shut out Monticello, 1-0.
In the second match of the very hot, humid afternoon, Ellenville doubled up Eldred, 4-2.
T-V and Ellenville advanced to the title match, which is scheduled to be played at 4:15 p.m. tomorrow. Monticello and Eldred will meet in the consolation match at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
The Lady Bears won the first 10 Tri-Valley Invitational tournaments and last captured the title in 2006. The Lady Bears were defeated by Ellenville in last year’s championship match, however.
T-V tops Lady Panthers
The Lady Bears wasted little time in taking the advantage over Monticello (0-1) in the tourney opener.
At 9:56 of the first half, T-V sophomore striker Jakki Pugh sent a low shot at the Monticello goal from about 10 yards away. Lady Panther goalie Jessica Stant quickly deflected the shot, but could not grab the ball. Pugh quickly ran to the loose ball and kicked it high into the back of the net.
Although players from both teams had quality shots during the rest of the match, none of them could get the ball past Stant or Lady Bears’ goalie Ellen Williams.
Stant finished with 15 saves, while Williams had 11 saves.
T-V (1-0) outshot Monticello by a 20-15 margin.
“I was pleased with what I saw out on the field,” T-V Coach Mary Feusner said. “We did a good job of communicating and working together.
“Jakki had a nice goal off a rebound,” Feusner continued. “And Amanda Martin, Karyn Sheeley and Katelyn Torres did an awesome job of defending on the back line.”
Despite the loss, Monticello Coach Joe Ebeling was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We played well,” he said. “It was our first match and we worked hard and played together.
“With each match, we’ll have more time to jell as a team and get even better,” Ebeling added.
Ellenville defeats Lady Yellowjackets
A pair of second-half breakaway goals made the difference as the Lady Blue Devils turned a 2-1 halftime lead into a 4-2 victory.
Just 1:31 into the second half, Ellenville senior forward Erica Stoeckeler sent the ball into the far corner of the Eldred goal net with a low shot from the top of the goal box.
Then at the 17:54 mark, Victoria Mann scored on a low shot from about 20 yards out to give the Lady Blue Devils a 4-1 advantage.
But Eldred (0-1) answered slightly more than a minute later.
Kaitlin Terry took a corner kick for the Lady Yellowjackets and sent the ball into the goal box, where teammate Meaghan Hazen was able to kick it past Ellenville goalie Kathleen DiMilia. Hazen’s goal, which came with 19:06 elapsed in the second half, pulled the Lady Yellowjackets to within two goals.
Unfortunately for the Lady Yellowjackets, they could not get any closer in the remaining minutes and Ellenville (1-0) recorded the victory.
Ellenville took a 1-0 lead when junior midfielder Alyssa Ellis scored from close range less than three minutes into the match. Katie Burns was credited with an assist on the goal.
Eldred’s Sam Ferguson tied the match at 1-1 when she scored inside the goal box at the 30:00 mark of the first half. Christina Watts assisted Ferguson on the tally.
The score did not remain even for long, however.
Five minutes after Ferguson’s goal, the Lady Blue Devils regained the lead on a goal by Mann. Stoeckeler assisted on the play.
Ellenville recorded 13 shots on goal, while Eldred had nine shots.
DiMilia made eight saves and Eldred’s Diana Schombs registered four saves.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played today,” Ellenville Coach Nikki Krom said. “We made some good passes and had some good shots on goal.”
Eldred Coach Kelly Robertson was also happy with her team’s performance.
“I was pleased with our effort,” she said. “We worked hard and played as a team. We were communicating with each other and working together.
“In the first half, we played well,” Robertson added. “We fell off a little bit in the second half, but I think that was because of the heat. Overall, it was a great effort.”