• 73°

Lady Statesmen fall to top seed

Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity girls soccer team’s 2018 season of significant growth came to a close Monday as the No. 16-seeded Lady Statesmen fell 9-0 to host No. 1 Prince Edward County High School in the first round of the Region 2A tournament.

The Lady Statesmen finished the year with an overall record of 1-10-2, just like last season, but as the 2018 regular season neared its conclusion, R-H Head Coach David Ellsworth saw a clear distinction between the 2017 and 2018 runs.

“This year the team has massively improved from last year’s performance,” he said. “If you look at our stat sheet, the figures show that we have been competitive in every game we have played. Last year, we lost games by six, seven and nine. The girls have really grown together as a squad and improved their technical and tactical skills dramatically in a year.”

Concerning key players the program lost last year due to graduation, Ellsworth cited midfielder Kendal Tharp, but prior to that, he highlighted that “all players are key for girls soccer given the low rate of involvement currently in the region … All players started at some point last year due to the number of players on the roster and injuries.”

He highlighted a few girls who helped lead the growth seen on the pitch this season.

“This year’s standouts have been Liyah Stevenson, forward, and Craigan Pennington, attacking midfielder,” Ellsworth said. “Both players are able to find the back of the net under pressure and have stepped up in roles outside of their comfort zones.”