Lady Eagles Fall, 4-1 In Sectional Finale To Knights
The Magnolia Blue Eagle Lady Eagles’ Girls’ Soccer Team 2008 season came to an abrupt halt Thursday in the WV Class A-AA Region One Sectional Championship by a 4-1 count.
The Eagles were a huge underdog going into the game, having lost both regular season games, but it’s much harder to knock off a team three times in a row.
Magnolia was playing an inspired game in the first half, thanks to a very motivated and inspiring 1-0 victory over rival Tyler Consolidated in the opening match in the Sectional Monday.
Playing on their side of the field in the first half of action, winning most of the throw-ins and kicks, the Lady Eagles caught a break when senior stopper Emily Irizarry blasted a direct kick just inside the midfield line to a streaking forward, and Magnolia leading scorer, Dallas Mullett.
Mullett received the pass just inside the 18-yard line and placed it perfectly in the back of the net for the game’s first point.
The goal stood for most of the first half, but after a Magnolia foul late in the first half, Wheeling Central blasted the direct kick, just inside the Magnolia sidelines, that ricocheted off goal keeper Alli Childers’ glove to knot the game at one.
Shortly after, the Lady Knights got a gift on a accidental hand ball and Central got a free shot at the penalty box. However, Childers was up to the challenge and the shot sailed over the net; the Eagles prevailed.
The Eagles kept the offense going and nearly took the lead on a through ball that junior midfielder Brittany Leek just missed wide left, as did senior Sarah Culley’s shot from outside the 18-yard line. The Eagles went into the half tied with the heavily favored Maroon Knights.
The second half was a little different; both teams played most of the time at midfield, but on several occasions the Knights had a few shots challenge the Eagles’ keeper. The Eagles’ Childers would have no intention of giving up another goal.
But, Lady Luck was on the Central’s favor and three goals squeezed through to give them the Region One Sectional Crown.
It was only the second time in school history that Magnolia has had a chance to play for the Region One crown. In the past Magnolia normally would have to play John Marshal in the opener and if they could get by them, they would get to play Wheeling Park. But this year they moved the bigger schools in one class and the Class A-AA in another.
Although the Eagles lost to Central in the sectional, they gave a good performance and the future of Blue Eagle soccer looks to be sound for a few more years.
Magnolia loses only Sarah Culley and Emily Irizarry to graduation and have the bulk of the team back, including their top two leading scorers in Dallas Mullett and Brittany Leek, plus their entire starting defense, including their goal keeper Alli Childers.