Lady Chargers earn first sectional berth for Westview
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
With the victory, the Lady Chargers clinched the first trip to a regional final and the first sectional berth in the program's history.
"It was a total team effort from the defense to the offense," WHS coach Stan Vickers proudly stated.
With the win, the Westview soccer team advances to the regional final against Dyersburg's Lady Trojans. The title game will begin at 6 on Wednesday night in Dyersburg. The host team advanced by thrashing Crockett County 10-0 Monday night. Dyersburg earned a 1-0 win over Westview in their regular-season match-up on Oct. 8.
It appeared Covington was the team taking the early lead at the three-minute mark of the first half, when a direct kick 30 yards out led to a save and a deflection that was eventually booted behind the WHS goalkeeper Macy Vincent. However, an offsides call negated the goal.
Five minutes later, it was Westview nabbing the momentum. A long clear by Caitlin Campbell set up a rush to the offensive end by the Martin girls. Junior Melissa Johnson fed a centering pass to freshman Kayla Gutherie who fired a quick shot into the net for a 1-0 Westview advantage.
From that point, the Covington girls kept applying the pressure on the Westview defenders.
Vincent had to come out of the goal and make a sliding body block on a shot at the 12:30 mark in the first half.
Fifteen minutes into the action, Westview had another offensive flurry with Johnson and Gutherie both launching shots that didn't pass into the goal.
At the 17-minute mark, a push by Westview inside the penalty box resulted in a penalty kick for Covington. The chest high shot was easily handled by Vincent to keep Westview's advantage at a one-goal lead.
Both teams had opportunities, but the defenses were always hustling into position to keep the score at 1-0 in Westview's favor when halftime arrived.
"Without the awesome play from everyone on defense and Macy (Vincent), we wouldn't have won this game," Vickers noted. "The defense starts your offense. Amanda Crowe, Ashley Bynum and Kelsey Hauhe kept us in the game."
After halftime, Westview intensified its offensive effort. At the 51-minute mark, Shelby Donovant crossed a pass to Campbell who dribbled across the top of the box before sliding a low shot inside the post to double the WHS lead to 2-0.
"We got a little insurance early in the second half and that helped us out," the Westview coach pointed out. "It was a perfect textbook play."
Fifty-seven minutes into the game, Covington finally broke through. A direct kick from outside the box was deflected by Vincent, but Sam Ellis was in the right spot to bang in the rebound to cut the lead in half.
Covington nearly tied the match at the 63-minute mark when it had a shot from point-blank range clang off the post and the follow was headed just wide of the net.
Westview managed to hold off any other Covington advances to take the 2-1 victory.
"We had a great overall game. We stuck to our game plan. We hustled, moved the ball upfield with short passes and we got lucky on a few of their shots, but they did on some of ours too," Vickers said.