CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School soccer team closed out its three-week summer practice period with a scrimmage at home against Poca last Friday.
The Tigers defeated the Dots 7-6.
It was Chapmanville’s last scrimmage and last day of summer conditioning.
Poca struck first with a goal from 25 yards out by Abigale Horton 18:24 into the match.
After several shots and misses by Chapmanville, the Tigers’ Cypriel Fidelis scored a goal to tie it up 1-1 at the 25:16 mark.
Then it became an attacker’s contest.
Stevie Clemens traded goals with Horton once again to tie it at 2.
Trace Jarret had another goal with three minutes to go in the half to make it 3-2 Poca.
Zach Lamb tied it up from a cross pass assist of Dylan Brown to tie it up again at 3-3.
With less than a minute before the half Poca had a strategy session and took advantage of Chapmanville’s mental lapse with their celebration and scored just seconds later on a goal by Trae Bush to go up 4-3.
Chapmanville came on strong in the second half with goals by Fidelis, Austin Hanshaw, Lamb and Brown.
“We had an opportunity for a penalty kick but the shot was wide by Zach Lamb and Dylan Brown had a lone break away from an off-side trap play,” Chapmanville coach Greg Dillon said. “He missed the shot and was upset but things like that happen. Those kids won’t forget those plays and will make their mental toughness stronger for when opportunity happens again.”
Dillon said Poca has a good team.
“I am glad Abigale Horton played against us. She owned us a few times. There are several boys on our team who are shorter because of Abigale taking their ankles,” Dillon said. “She let the boys know they weren’t as good as they thought and let the girls know they could be much more than they ever thought. Playing as a co-ed team playing a boys’ schedule will be a serious challenge but if the kids believe they can compete they can. No matter what, having the opportunity to play soccer this fall, they are winners.
“Other notable players for Poca were Kristen Godfish, Hailey Fields and Devin Toomey. They were without their starting goalie, Tanner Dworsky, who held the Tigers to one goal in their last encounter.”
The Dots had seven corner kicks to three for the Tigers.
Chapmanville goalie Ben Chapman had nine saves. Joe Toth, who also saw time in the goalie position, finished with eight saves.
“Joe is getting stronger and punting and kicking better. He is more focused on putting it in strategic places now rather than just happy to kick it and get it up field,” Coach Dillon said. “The kids are getting stronger. We are able to resist the heat from the turf and humidity better. Our conditioning has significantly improved. I am pleased with the kids buying into the conditioning aspect of this summer session.”
Dillon said several players have improved over the three-week period.
“I was pleasantly enthused about Hailey Chewning and Patricia Haddox with their progress,” he said. “Amber Stokes, Ryan Belcher, Joesph Toth, Zach Lamb, Stevie Clemens and other Rec League kids were used to success on some smaller fields, playing boom ball and refs not enforcing rules and minor cardio or touch skills. They were aggravated at first because they were not in positions they had usually succeeded at.
“Yet they have realized that wanting to play a position and having ability to play it at this level, is not the same thing. They are understanding that success for the team may require them to learn another position and mindset. Once that happens, they are more apt to succeed at that that position.”
Kyle Deskins had three tackles and five broken up goals. Bailee Holt had five tackles, four interceptions and four broken up goals.
Kaylee Bowe had five tackles and eight interceptions. Kayla Baldwin had three tackles while Olivia Bryant had three tackles and Jacob Richardson had five tackles and five interceptions.
Carla Sheppard finished with three tackles and two broken up goals. Carlos Sheppard had three tackles.
“Ryan Belcher also had four tackles and was a constant harassment of their center mid,” Coach Dillon said. “There is no stat for a pressure defensive player, much like basketball, when you hold a kid who normally scores 30 points per game to 13. It’s a serious advantage but its seldom recognized.”
Clemens and Hanshaw each had two assists for the Tigers. Fidelis, Brown and Lamb all had one assist.
“They are becoming more trusting and confident of each other,” Coach Dillon said of his team. “With us just throwing it together this summer the expectations weren’t high. But they have grown up. I am very proud to be a part of such a group. The parents support it and the kids are into it.”
Dillon said Poca and its coaching staff enjoyed playing on Chapmanville’s Field Turf.
The Chapmanville soccer team has the month of July off. Preseason practices are set to start on Aug. 1.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).