Thompson strikes new role on soccer pitch

Photo provided Parkersburg High School’s senior forward and fourth-year goal keeper Sophie Thompson takes to the ball while in goal during a soccer match last year.

PARKERSBURG — Sophie Thompson arrived to the pitch her senior year as a returning all-state keeper for the Big Reds. Thompson, a four-year veteran of the soccer program, finds herself in the midst of her final season wearing the red and white jersey for The School of Champions.

She has seen a lot of changes made to her high school team over the years and in this 2018 season she’s decided to make a change of her own by taking on a new role up front on the field as a forward.

“I guess it’s a lot different being keeper.” said Thompson. “You’re in charge of the whole field because you can see everything. I mean up front you can still control the field, but it’s just a lot different and you’re contributing for the team instead of saving.”

Head coach Brad Morris has embraced this new change in his lineup even though, “She had to play back in goal when our freshman keeper got hurt during a game.”

That occured in a recent matchup when PHS faced Morgantown. It was a competitive matchup for the Big Reds, who took a 3-1 road loss to the Mohigans. While Thompson donned her keeper gloves once again she’s also searching for balance between aiding the teams attacking efforts as well as providing her goal keeping services free of charge.

“It was a little happy medium,” said Thompson. “Yeah, I missed it a little bit, but I like playing forward too. I think we’re just waiting for that one game to make us actually just click.”

That game came Thursday when the Big Reds went up against South Charleston and finished with a huge 18-0 victory. Not only did her team find a rythym, connecting and closing shots on the offensive side, but Sophie found the middle ground she yearned for — helping on the attack and leading the team from in net. Two goals, one assisted by freshman Kendall Domenick, and three saves, as she split time at keeper with Maddi Leggett, being a pretty nice outcome.

“We’re all getting to know each other and learning how we play,” said Thompson.

Her results against the Black Eagles’ were a reward for all her hard work. Informing her the knowledge she’s learned at her new position is being put to good use. She has also learned to trust Leggett between the pipes.

“It should be an easier game,” she said a day prior to the South Charleston match.

The latest success for Sophie and her teammates was on the road against Spring Valley where they captured another victory, 7-0. The Big Reds prevented Spring Valley from scoring with 3 total keeper saves and a launched an attack on the offensive side with 21 total shots. The newley picked up win for Sophie and her teammates make their teams record 7-7 on the season so far.

The PHS girls will be playing St. Albans 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Big Reds home turf.