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Lady Chargers oust Peabody, advance to district final

Lady Chargers oust Peabody, advance to district final
Lady Chargers oust Peabody, advance to district final | Westview Lady Chargers, Lucy Redmond, District 14 A-AA Soccer Tournament, Peabody Lady Golden Tide

Slide — Westview junior Lucy Redmond slides through the box on a shot attempt in the Lady Chargers’ 3-0 District 14 A-AA Tournament semifinal win over Peabody Tuesday night at Dyersburg. With the win, Westview eliminated Peabody.
By Stephanie Sturgis
Sports Editor
The 3-0 final score didn’t tell the complete story of the Westview Lady Chargers’ total domination in their District 14 A-AA Tournament semifinal win over the Peabody Lady Golden Tide Tuesday night in Dyersburg.
The Lady Chargers earned a double bonus with the victory. Not only do they now advance to the district championship game, they also earn a berth in the regional semifinals. Westview will take on the regular-season champs, Dyersburg’s Lady Trojans, for the district tournament crown in Dyersburg at 6:30 on Thursday night.
Westview repeatedly had open looks at the net against the Tide, shooting either wide or over the crossbar time after time in the first half of the physical game.
“We had 20 shots. I think you should make 30 percent of your shots. We should be ahead 6-0,” Westview head coach Stan Vickers said at halftime of his team’s 3-0 victory.
Instead, the frustrated Lady Chargers held a slim 1-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
An early surge in the first three minutes by Westview saw senior Emily Belote pin a Tide defender on her back and spin away from the pressure to take the pass into the open field. Her 16-yard blast slammed off Peabody keeper Amanda Holt but no Lady Chargers were following the shot to kick in the carom for a goal. Later in the game, Holt made several good saves under heavy duress from Lady Chargers crashing the net to follow misses.
At the five-minute mark, Westview broke the ice with the game’s first goal. Freshman Melissa Johnson centered a pass from the right side to Belote who worked first to her left and then back to her right through the defense before firing a low laser of a shot inside the left post to set off a blue-and-gold celebration.
From that point on, thanks to great transitions up the field and pinpoint passing, the Westview offense repeatedly worked its way free for good looks at the goal but with no success to show for its efforts.
Peabody had two of its best scoring chances at the eight- and 10-minutes marks. First, pressure up the left sideline resulted in a Laquita Luten shot going wide of the Westview goal. Then Luten came up with a steal near midfield and got behind the Lady Charger defense to fire a shot, but Westview keeper Macy Vincent made the save to preserve her team’s 1-0 lead.
Vincent made another critical save with under seven minutes left in the half. A Peabody corner kick rattled around in front of the WHS goal with Tide players all about before the freshman keeper safely pulled it in.
After halftime, the Westview barrage continued. Within the first three minutes, Westview put together another attack. This time the Lady Chargers enjoyed success. Jennifer Johnson, from deep in the left corner, centered a shot across the goal mouth. Junior Lucy Redmond, coming up the middle of the box, couldn’t get a toe on the pass, but Melissa Johnson was crashing in from the right side and fired a low shot past Holt to double the Westview lead to 2-0.
Peabody tried to retaliate four minutes later. Luten blasted a shot that ricocheted off the right post. Westview cleared the carom out of bounds to set up a Tide corner kick. Peabody’s Lindsey Peterson tried to head in the corner kick but Vincent made the save.
With 12 minutes gone off the clock in the second half, a short Tide goal kick was picked off by Belote who charged in on the dribble and booted a short shot into the net just before colliding with Holt for a 3-0 Lady Charger advantage.
With the three-goal lead, Westview cruised on to victory.
“We played good up and down the field, but we just couldn’t hit shots in the first half,” Vickers said. “We played hard. We beat them to the ball probably 90 percent of the time.”
Vickers was also pleased with the play of his bench which contributed major minutes and offensive pressure.
“Every one of them played hard, and we didn’t lose much when they were in. They did a great job,” he said.
The victory sets up an interesting rematch with Dyersburg with homefield advantage in the region semifinals on the line in addition to district bragging rights. The last time the teams met, a late WHS goal forged a tie for Dyersburg’s lone blemish against District 14 A-AA foes.

Weakley County Press Oct. 16, 2007

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