With a trip to the state tournament on the line, Blacksburg cruised past Bassett with a 6-0 win at Bill Brown Stadium. Skyler Prosser scored the game winning goal in the 11th minute on an assist from Akaela Feng to give Blacksburg a lead they would not surrender.
Additional goals were scored by:
- 17th minute – Ashlen Burch assisted by Mari Garza
- 19th minute – Kayla Monaghan assisted by Eva Moeltner
- 44th minute – Akaela Feng assisted by Skyler Prosser
- 52nd minute – Skyler Prosser unassisted
- 64th minute – Sarah Linkenhoker assisted by Akaela Feng
Kinsey Verbrugge, Leah Daily and Margaret Ferguson all contributed minutes towards a shutout for the Bruins. Blacksburg recorded 21 shots compared to 2 shots for Bassett. Blacksburg had 7 corner kicks and Bassett had 1.
Quoted from the Roanoke Times.
Special Thanks to The Roanoke Times
BLACKSBURG — Blacksburg girls soccer was a mainstay in the Group 3A state tournament for years and in Group AA before that.
It’s more of the same now that the Bruins are in Class 4.
Second-seeded Blacksburg cruised to a 6-0 win against third-seeded Bassett on Tuesday in the Region 4D tournament semifinals, qualifying for the state tournament in its first year at the Class 4 level.
Five different Bruins scored, with Skyler Prosser finishing with two goals for Blacksburg (17-2-1), which advances to play top-seeded Jefferson Forest for the region championship on Thursday at 7 p.m. But more importantly will be one of the eight teams that advance to the Class 4 state tournament.
“That’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of,” said Blacksburg coach Travis Eschenmann, whose teams won three straight 3A state titles from 2014-16.
“You’re playing teams like Salem and E.C. Glass and JF, so a lot of good teams. So you’re like, ‘OK, we’ve been there eight years in a row now for us as a program.’ When I came on board, I think we’d only been to the Final Four twice. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, are we going to be able to make it back?’ And these girls stepped up and found a way.”
There wasn’t as much drama Tuesday. Prosser got Blacksburg on the board first with just a little over 29 minutes left in the first half. She fired a long shot straight to the middle of the net at Bassett keeper Drilona Mehmeti, who watched it bounce off her hands and squirt over her head for a goal that gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
“She strikes the ball firmly from distance,” Eschenmann said of Prosser. “With that type of pace, that’s tough for a goalkeeper to touch and get hands on. So she struck it well.”
Ashlen Burch made it 2-0 at seven minutes, going high from close range to give Blacksburg a comfortable early lead. A minute later, Kayla Monaghan put a one-timer in the back of the net to make it a 3-0 Bruins advantage that would carry into halftime.
“It gave us the opportunity during the first half to bring some younger players on and give them some postseason experience,” said Eschenmann, who estimated his starters only played about 40 minutes. “It was just good for us all around.”
Akaela Feng made it 4-0 early in the second half, knocking in a rebound from close range after Mehmeti made an initial save.
Crosser added her second goal with 28 minutes left, again from long range, this time beating a diving keeper to the lower right corner of the net to make it 5-0.
Sarah Linkenhoker rifled a shot over the keeper from just outside of the box to put the Bruins up 6-0 with 15 minutes left.
The upcoming JF game will determine the region champ and seeding for the Class 4 state quarterfinals, which start June 5.
Region champions host in the quarterfinal round, while runners-up have to travel.
Blacksburg will have that and last year’s 1-0 loss to Brentsville District in the state semifinals as motivation.
“Last year we just didn’t finish the way we wanted to,” Eschenmann said. “I think all of them would agree that we didn’t do as well as we should have. So they’re motivated by just that alone. They want to have a better end.”