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Blacksburg also looks poised to make another deep run into the postseason this spring.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Salem defender Kim Migliarese has also been an asset to Spartan basketball.
The Roanoke Times | FIle 2012
Salem defender Shannon Dishaw kicks the ball away from Blacksburg forward Morgan Evans last year.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Last year, six underclassmen took first team All-Timesland honors in girls soccer. Salem featured two of them — neither one an offensive player.
In other words, it could be hard to score this year against the Spartans.
Led by two-time All-Group AA defender Kim Migliarese and goaltender Carrie West, Salem is off to a 5-1 start in 2013. Migliarese, who helped propel the Spartans to a Group AA championship in basketball last month, will play soccer next year at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne.
“Her toughness is pretty special back there,” Salem coach Josh Jones said. “Her ability to win 50-50 balls is pretty special, too.”
West, a junior, posted 11 shutouts last year as the Spartans went 12-7-2 and advanced to the Group AA quarterfinals. Four of the 15 goals she allowed came on penalty kicks, and only one shot got past her in three regional tournament games.
“Her athletic ability, her reaction time and her hands really set her apart from other goalkeepers,” Jones said.
Three of Salem’s losses last year came against Blacksburg, including a pair of 1-0 defeats decided by penalty kicks. The Bruins set a school record with 22 straight victories before falling to Woodgrove 3-0 in the Group AA semifinals.
Though the end came suddenly and decisively, the Bruins didn’t dwell on it.
“It didn’t take long,” Blacksburg coach Travis Eschenmann said. “As soon as we got back together, everybody’s been excited about trying to get back there.”
The Bruins, who have been to the Group AA semifinals three straight years, lost Timesland Player of the Year Adrian Newcomb and defensive stalwart Kat Everett to graduation. But Division I recruits Morgan Evans (Temple) and Kim Shaver (UNC Greensboro) are back to lead a talented team.
Eschenmann scheduled a game against Group AAA power James Robinson on March 26. The Bruins lost it 3-0, but they got the kind of regular-season test they perhaps could have used last year.
“Because we didn’t have those setbacks,” Eschenmann said, “we didn’t really know what to do when we got under the gun.”
Northside forward Emma Wade, the 2012 Blue Ridge District Player of Year honoree, has scored at least 20 goals in each of her first three seasons. Keeping that streak going as a senior might be a challenge given how much attention opponents are paying her.
“She’s had a target on her back every time we’ve played,” Vikings coach Cory Fobare said. “She could go down into our own 18 [yard box] and they’ll send someone with her…But she’s got a nose for the goal and she’s not going to be stopped.”
James River enjoyed a stellar 2012 campaign, going 14-3-1 and advancing to the Group A semifinals. Along the way, the Knights defeated Radford in the Region C tournament for the first time in school history.
“It was kind of a stepping point for James River,” coach Giuseppe D’Apra said, “telling them that can beat anyone as long as they play the way they know they can.”
The Bobcats got a modicum of revenge with a 4-2 victory over James River on March 12, but the Knights have won three straight heading into an extended break.
D’Apra hopes girls soccer participation — limited somewhat by the size of the school and the success of James River’s softball program — will eventually be strong enough to start a JV program. Senior striker Kendall Moyer leads a mix of veterans and youngsters on this year’s squad.
Giles, which went 2-13 last season, needed just three games to match that victory total this year. The Spartans won their season opener 2-1 over George Wythe — a team that had beaten them by an aggregate score of 13-0 in two meetings last year.
Associate head coach Paul Short reports that travel soccer in Giles County is growing rapidly. He said the high school team had 40 girls show up to tryouts this year.
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