Peebles advances with 3-1 win over Westfall –
Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
A magical season will continue for Coach Gus Denzik and the Peebles Lady Indians as they will be moving into district tournament play next week. The Peebles girls, who already set the record for most wins in a season in program history with 10 in the regular season, added one more to that number on Tuesday night as they hosted the Westfall Lady Mustangs in a Southeast District Division III sectional title game. The Lady Indians, getting a pair of goals from freshman Lily Gray, claimed a sectional championship by downing the Lady Mustangs by a final score of 3-1.
“The first half both teams were shanking balls all over the place, just the butterflies of being in the sectional finals,” said Coach Denzik after the win. “They realize that if it wasn’t them crying at the end of the game, it would be us crying. After about 20 minutes, our girls settled in and we honestly controlled most of the game in terms of finesse. Westfall is a power team who tries to kick it far and then rely on their speed to finish, but we try to possess the ball and get it to the speed on our front line.”
The first half was a tight one, with a goal by Gray giving Peebles a 1-0 lead at the intermission. After the break, the two teams exchanged quick goals, Peebles getting one from Breauna Shoemaker, to take a 2-1 advantage.
The final goal of the game came with 24:23 left when a centering pass from Kierra Stone found the foot of an uncovered Gray, who booted it home.
“This is only the second sectional championship in program history,” said Denzik. “With all the great things we have accomplished this season, we hope this translates into younger kids getting excited about soccer. The joy is hopefully that some of these girls take this and parlay it into siblings and others playing the game.”
The win sends the Lady Indians to the Division III District Tournament at Waverly High School. They will be in action on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. with the unenviable task of facing number one seeded and unbeaten Wheelersburg. The Peebles game will be the first of a double header at Waverly on Tuesday, with North Adams facing Minford at 7 p.m. in the nightcap.
“We’re just playing with house money now,” added Denzik. “We will be the underdog and have nothing to lose. They have one outstanding attacker that we will just have to shut down.”