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PE Takes Major Step Toward Southside Soccer Title

FARMVILLE – In what is literally a two-horse race, the Prince Edward County High School girls soccer team took a major step toward its second consecutive Southside District championship last Thursday with a 6-0 victory over Park View – the Southside's only other school that fields a girls team.

In what is basically a best three-out-of-five match series (though four matches will be played, with the fifth to be played if necessary), the Lady Eagles took a two-game lead in the district standings.

Though the Eagles weren't really challenged on the defensive end, it took a while for them to pull ahead for a comfortable lead. PE led just 1-0 at the intermission.

At the break, PECHS head coach Jason Crabtree had one message for his players.

“I told them to just go out there and have fun,” said the second-year coach. “We were working on some new things, and we did make some adjustments [at the intermission] that opened some things up for us, but the biggest part was that we needed to have fun.”

In soccer, that's achieved by scoring goals, which the Eagles did with relative ease in the second half.

After a goal by senior forward Katrina Lowe was disallowed in the 17th minute, senior Lauren Keup put Prince Edward up 1-0 with a goal in the 23rd. Her shot from about ten yards out came on a corner kick opportunity.

Though the Eagles peppered the PV goal with shot after shot, they were not able to gain a comfortable advantage until after intermission.

Keup scored her second goal in the 42nd minute from about 12 yards out on a loose ball that was misplayed by the Park View sweeper.

A few minutes later, junior Amie Dews scored on a shot from the top of the box on a high shot that went through the outstretched arms of the Park View goalie.

Lowe then scored a hat trick in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Her first came in the 60th minute on a shot from the top of the penalty box. In the 69th minute she scored again on a shot from about eight yards out. Seconds later, she closed out PE's scoring with a shot on a one-on-one breakaway shot that was tapped past the goalie that was slow to react.

PE senior goalie Taylor Reinson was not challenged in a match that was played mainly on Park View's side of the field. She did manage a save in the last ten minutes that preserved the shutout.

It was a good way to end a week that started out badly. The Eagles lost senior defensive specialist Jesse Bass, who suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the week.

“That's a big loss for us, but our defense responded well,” said Crabtree. “They did a good job of minimizing Park View's chances, especially in the second half.”

The Eagles will have two more matches against Park View, but are in good position to claim the SSD title and the league's top spot in the Region I playoffs.

We're looking forward to the rest of the year,” said Crabtree. “We still have a lot of hard work ahead, and I wish we had a few more teams in the district, but that's how it goes.

“But the biggest thing for us is to remember to keep it fun. This is a great group of girls. They have a good chemistry, and they all love to play the game. I can't really ask for any more.”