After losing 8-2 the first time around, the James River girls pulled off a big upset over Lord Botetourt in soccer last week. The Knights took a 3-1 win in Springwood to give the visiting Cavs their first loss of the season.
A larger than normal crowd filled the stands at River as neighbors and friends sat on opposite sides of the aisle on a warm breezy spring afternoon. Midway through the first half, sophomore Briana Myers connected on a corner kick, with her head, in textbook fashion to put the visiting Cavaliers ahead. Then, 10 minutes later, River freshman Sophia Kryder got in behind the Cavalier defense, getting an unassisted goal to level the score and that’s how it stood at the break.
Kryder assisted freshman Kayla Myers early in the second period to give the Knights a rare lead over their larger neighbor. The intensity of the game increased as the Cavaliers found themselves in the unusual position of having to play catch-up. Lord Botetourt made several attacking runs and made finishing opportunities over the next half hour but the James River defense, anchored by veteran goal keeper Colleen Peery, proved up to the challenge. Peery had a very good night between the pipes, repelling 23 shots from the Cavaliers during the match.
Junior Stephanie Vasquez completed the scoring for the Knights, converting an assist from Megan Hill with five minutes on the clock. The 3-1 result was the first Knights victory in this match-up in more than eight years.
River followed the big win with a 6-1 victory over Giles in Springwood a night later. The win lifted River to 7-2-1 overall and 5-1 in the Three Rivers District. The Knights will celebrate Senior Night on Thursday, May 9 as they host rival Radford at 5:30.
Meanwhile, LB bounced back with an 8-0 win over Northside Friday, then lost at home Franklin County on Monday, 2-1. The loss dropped LB to 11-2 overall while the Cavaliers remained unbeaten in Blue Ridge District play. They were scheduled to play William Byrd in Vinton Tuesday, and the girls will host William Fleming on Thursday.