South girls fight off PHS for 2-0 victory

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg’s Sarah Moise and Parkersburg South’s Riley Pigott battle for control of the ball during the Patriots’ 2-0 win over the Big Reds Saturday at PHS Stadium Field.

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg South netted one goal per half and keeper Sophia Miller pitched a shutout during the Patriots’ 2-0 win over crosstown rival PHS on Saturday at PHS Stadium Field.

Ron Bucholtz’ team improved to 2-0 against Eric McCoy’s Big Reds in a matchup just as physical as the Patriots’ 5-1 win Aug. 18 at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

PHS keeper Sophie Thompson took a knee to the nose 6:09 into the first period. She left the game briefly with a bloody nose; replaced by backup Kacee Roberts.

Aiyana Lauderman tested Roberts immediately. She raced all the way up to the net and snuck a goal in between the slim space of Roberts outstretched arms and the right post for an early 1-0 advantage to the Patriots in the 7th minute.

Lauderman’s shot was the only one faced by the Big Red until Thompson returned to action in the 21st minute. Ten minutes later, she saw her first test after the Patriots were awarded two corner kicks within roughly 30 seconds of each other. Only one of those opportunities amounted to anything, as a South shot trickled harmlessly by the scoring box.

Jordan Huffman had a good chance to put the Patriots up 2-0 in the 24th minute. She juked by a diving Thompson, playing high out of the box, and unleashed a shot toward the net. However, PHS freshman defender Jennifer Morris made the save to keep the margin at just one goal.

Carli Black had a good chance to net the equalizer in the 27th minute, but her shot went wide left.

South followed up Black’s try with a flurry of shots on goal to end the first half. Riley Pigot and Jordan Huffman each had two chances at points, but came away empty after the Big Red saved them all before the bell rang for halftime.

The first 40 minutes were largely possession-based with the Patriots handling the ball most of the half.

“We had moments of good possession in the first half, but played more kickball then I liked,” said Bucholtz. “The girls tend to get their act together in the second half. I was just happy we didn’t come out flat like we did in the first game.”

Lauderman made sure the Patriots didn’t come out sluggish in the second half of this game either. Her shot hard off the right post early in the period was one of five on goal in the second period. Overall, the Patriots had 11 in the game.

Huffman put the visiting team up 2-0 in the 57th minute with a smooth goal of an assist from Audrie Leasure.

“That was a beautiful goal,” said Bucholtz. “We had good possession leading up to it and got the ball down the channel and didn’t overhit the pass to give Audrie a chance to run on to it. Instead of hitting a first time cross, she had to composure to pull the ball back across and against the defender, who most often you are going to beat back up the middle, and she went right at the goal like she should have and lobbed a beautiful ball. It was a beautiful piece of soccer right there.”

The defense picked things up from there and made sure the Big Reds had little chance to answer the rest of the way.

Black recorded the last shot on goal for PHS on a dribbler to Miller in the 66th minute.

NOTE: South’s Lauren Gerrard did not come back on the field after she crumpled to the turf with what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the 48th minute. Bucholtz’ junior defender was carried off by her teammates.