Lady Cavs storm back on pitch

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Top Liberty in a big way

By Mike Forster

  Jefferson Forest was seeking to bounce back from a crushing loss to E.C. Glass last week.

Liberty was seeking to bounce back from a nasty blanking it absorbed at the hands of Brookville last week.

Something had to give.

After 74 minutes of play, it was clear that the crew from Forest was on the mend.  The Lady Minutemen, meanwhile, would have to seek out another foe upon which to get well.

Jeff Forest 8, Liberty 0.

Don't, however, read too much into that score.  While those eight tallies were all serious goals, Liberty played the Lady Cavs on fairly even terms for most of the first half.

In fact, it appeared the Lady Cavs would head into the break with a tenuous 2-0 lead.  That edge came on a blistering 20-footer from Lauren Nicholas and from some exploitative play by Dani Tiffany, who pounced on a loose ball off a corner kick and tapped it past Liberty keeper Cayla Crouch.

With about 20 seconds left in the stanza, however, Riley Lee won a foot race with seemingly the entire Liberty defense.  She caught up with the ball to tap home a left-to-right roller into the netting.

Unfortunately for the visitors from Bedford, JF unleashed Callie White following the intermission.  White, who'd been held in reserve for the first half, stormed into the game like, well, like a storm.   The junior attacker sprinted down the left sideline with the opening drop of the second half.  She went untouched toward the Liberty keeper, popping the ball just over Crouch's head.

White drilled home another goal seven minutes later on a breakaway that left her with a one-on-one with Crouch.

"She came back with a vengeance," noted JF Head Coach Stan Golon.

Between White's tallies, JF picked up two more goals.  Those came off the powerful feet of Riley Lee and Nicholas.

The game-ender (due to mercy rules) came when Allie Gossen, the usual goal keeper, got some field time and made the most of it.  Gossen punched through the Liberty defense to ring home her shot with six minutes remaining on the clock.

Throughout the game, Liberty found its offense thwarted by the workmanlike JF backline.  Upperclassmen Anna Carter and Jessica O'Bryant were ably flanked by freshmen Lauren Vann and Courtney Matthews for the evening.

Still, Liberty Head Coach Jeff Steele was pleased with some aspects of his team's performance.  "The girls played an outstanding first half," he assessed.


Cavs roll; Liberty falls

In subsequent action, JF showed it still had the hot hand.  The Lady Cavs topped Amherst, 9-1, in another mercy-rule shortened affair. 

JF was paced by two-goal performances by White, Lee and Tiffany.  Additional goals were scored by Nicholas, Alyssa Mitchell and Ashley Freeman.

Liberty, meanwhile had an encounter with Seminole-leading E.C. Glass.  The Hilltoppers, which had an early-season 3-1 win over JF under their collective belt, added another big win as Glass topped Liberty, 7-2.  

Kiley Bartholomew and Laura Garbarini scored for the Lady Minutemen.

Miranda Blackburn was busy between the pipes, facing 28 Glass shots.


River wins BRD opener

Staunton River entered Blue Ridge District play on a happy note, as the Lady Eagles took care of district newcomer Rockbridge, 6-3.

It was the first win of the Jeff D'Aiuto era, and the head coach seemed pleased.  "We played really well," he noted.  "Rockbridge is a good team, with scrappy players."

That scrappiness was no match for the tenacity and booming foot of Golden Eagle Taylor Tester.  The sophomore sensation drilled home four of the Eagles' six goals to make an auspicious opening to her Blue Ridge campaign.

One of Tester's goals came off an assist by goal keeper Morgan Lawson, whose punt bounded through the Rockbridge lines where it was scooped up by Tester.

Other goals were contributed by Afton McLaughlin and Lauren Green, who returned to action after a lengthy time away due to the effects of a concussion.

The win makes the Eagles 1-0 in district play and 1-2, overall.

River's slow schedule picks up great speed next week.  On Tuesday, April 17, the Eagles head to Northside.  The next day, they host Liberty.  On Friday, April 20, they head to Lord Botetourt to face the mighty Lady Cavs.