Cougars work for 3-0 victory so they can play later

September 03, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Jefferson girls soccer coach Tammy Miller is trying to actually make Labor Day a day of work for her Cougars.

After Thursday night's 3-0 victory over Martinsburg, they're halfway to having a holiday like the rest of the country.

"We have to win (tonight) and Saturday," senior Nora Burke said. "Otherwise, we have like an eight-hour practice on Monday."

The Cougars got two goals in a two-minute span of the second quarter and then rode the play of goalkeeper Melissa McElroy to preserve a shutout over the undersized, yet feisty, Bulldogs.

"We had a real sloppy game the other day," Miller said of her team's 4-2 loss Saturday to Parkersburg South. "I've got two practices scheduled for Monday, but they're working hard to get the day off."

The Cougars (3-1) also worked hard on the field, using their obvious height and size advantage at every opportunity. It paid off in the 27th minute when Jessica Skarzinski picked up a loose ball, dribbled 15 yards and blasted it into the left corner for a 1-0 lead.


Then in transition, Beth Walsh's centering pass went into a crowd of three players. Teammate Jennifer Russell fought off two Martinsburg defenders to set up a breakaway, which was originally smothered by Martinsburg keeper Kristen Lough. But the ball squirted off to the side, and Russell put in the rebound.

After that, the chances were even for both sides, and Martinsburg had a goal disallowed in the third quarter by a very close offside call.

"We didn't quit," Martinsburg coach Kevin Minnich said. "We hadn't been behind this year, and I really wanted to see what kind of character this team had."

Jefferson completed the scoring as Russell found Lindsay Carrell in the 70th minute.

Lough made 12 saves for Martinsburg (1-1), but was one-upped by McElroy's 12 saves and booming kicks. But even with a shutout, Miller says practice will still make the Cougars a little closer to perfect.

"It's like I'm shopping," Miller said with a laugh. "Once I find something I like, I'll take it."

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