It took two overtimes, but the James River girls kept their soccer season alive Monday with a 3-2 win over Radford at Radford High School. The win was in the opening round of the Region 2A West tournament at Radford High School.
The tournament now moves to the Smith River Complex in Martinsville. Tonight, Wednesday, the Knights will take on Graham at 7:45 p.m. with a spot in the state tournament on the line. The opening game will match Auburn against Richlands at 6 p.m., and the championship is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the SR Complex.
Expectation was high on Memorial Day as River and Radford came together for the third time this year. The first two meetings had gone Radford’s way, but the second of those had been a very even match decided by one early goal
The Bobcats opened the scoring with a goal from Madison Page, assisted by Mary Elliot, five minutes into the match. This looked remarkably similar to the start of the last game between these two teams.
Kendra Peery evened up the score at the midpoint of the half with a long shot to back post, assisted by Brook Ford. The half continued back and forth with many attacks on both sides but the two teams went to the break tied at 1-1.
The second half started much like the first. Page scored four minutes into the period and Emma Butler got the equalizer with 30 minutes still on the clock, finishing a loose ball from a Peery shot. That was how it remained at the end of regulation.
Two five-minute standard overtimes are played as the first tie breaker in tournament play. The energy was high, despite near exhaustion of the players on the pitch. No one wanted this to be their last game.
Meghan Hill finished, off another assist from Kendra Peery, with three minutes left in the first overtime period for what proved to be the winning goal. Colleen Peery made 15 saves in the cage for River.
The Knights finished as runner-up in the Conference 38 tournament last week at the Smith River Complex in Martinsville, losing a 2-1 decision to Glenvar in Friday’s championship game. Brook Ford scored for River.