Lady Bulldogs get historic win
Published 5:38 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015
The King’s Fork High School girls’ soccer team finally experienced the breakthrough on Thursday it has been striving for against cross-city rival Nansemond River High School.
With a final score of 3-1, the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Warriors for the first time ever.
“Obviously, it’s a big win for the school and for the players,” Lady Bulldogs coach Mike Marston said.
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King’s Fork had its best season in school history in 2014 and appeared on the brink of beating Nansemond River then, but it fell 3-2 both times the teams faced off.
Marston said he felt the Lady Bulldogs should have won both games but were over-intense in their efforts.
On Thursday, “we made sure we were intense, that we played our style confidently, but then we made sure that we were loose enough so that we could really think about the game, working and supporting each other,” he said.
Things were not going so smoothly for the Lady Warriors early on.
“We didn’t play well the first half, and that’s when we had the wind,” Nansemond River coach Kurt Straub said. “We played physical, but we didn’t play our style of game.”
Rather than gelling as a team, he said, “We played a lot of kick ball.”
Making things less than ideal for the Lady Warriors on defense was the absence due to injury of sophomore stopper/midfielder Victoria Czuprynski (concussion) and junior sweeper Kendall Webster (shoulder sprain).
“Next time we play (the Lady Bulldogs), we should have them back,” Straub said.
Nevertheless, he felt his defense still showed strength on Thursday, despite some breakdowns. He specifically complimented freshman sweeper Kaylah Simmons for her play.
Marston noted King’s Fork’s defense was key to the win.
“Last year, Daijah Norris especially made a lot of problems for us,” he said.
But a switch from a formation of three defenders, five midfielders and two strikers to a 4-4-2 formation helped make matters more difficult for Norris and Nansemond River.
The Lady Bulldogs defense featured freshman stopper Hannah Marston, sophomore center fullback Skylar Wall, sophomore outside fullback Nia Nickerson, junior outside fullback Carlee Morse, freshman outside fullback Ashley Bido and senior stopper/outside fullback Rachel Gist.
The new formation put a lot of pressure on junior midfielder Logan Montel and sophomore midfielder Rebecca Washburn to be available for passes, but they came through.
Coach Marston said King’s Fork had about a dozen high-quality scoring opportunities.
Sophomore striker Cydney Nichols scored thrice, first off a defender’s deflection to make it 1-0 at halftime. Not long into the second half, she scored on an assist from senior striker Lindsay Ransome. Later, Montel chipped the ball behind the defense and Nichols ran on it and scored to make it 3-0.
Lady Warriors freshman striker Indiah Hunter got her team on the board with a late goal.
On April 14, King’s Fork (4-1) is set to host Oscar Smith High School, and Nansemond River (3-2) is scheduled to host Hickory High School.