PINCKNEYVILLE — In a steady rain, the Pinckneyville girls soccer team made history Tuesday with its first postseason win in program history after beating Harrisburg, 8-0, in the opening round of the Pinckneyville Class 1A Sectional.
“I thought our girls played good in the rain,” said Pinckneyville coach Jay Ray. “I told them we had to go through the ball hard because it was going to be slick and the ball was going to do a lot of skipping and it did. It feels good to get that monkey off the back to win the first game ever out of Pinckneyville, so that was nice. The girls really wanted it, so they were ready. You can tell they were excited.”
Third seed Pinckneyville (6-8) will next play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Metropolis Soccer Complex against second seed Massac County (5-7-2). The teams have played twice with Massac County winning the first game, 3-1, and Pinckneyville the rematch, 2-1, 19 days later.
“The Massac game is going to be rough,” Ray said. “We’ve had two good games between us and we won the last one. This one here is going to be a little rougher than the first two.”
The Lady Panthers out-shot the Lady Bulldogs 12-0 in the first half and 18-0 for the game. Junior Madison Geffers and sophomore Jillian Shaneyfelt split the goaltending duties to post the shutout.
The Lady Panthers led 5-0 at the half on a goal by Shaneyfelt and two goals each by junior Breyona Schandl and senior Anna Pestka. Shaneyfielt had another goal disqualified on an off-sides call with 21 minutes left in the half.
Shaneyfelt scored in the first five minutes and scored again 4:02 into the second half to up the lead to 7-0 and trigger the mercy rule reducing the remaining 36 minutes in the game to 18 minutes.
“It was a postseason game, so I was pretty excited,” Shaneyfelt said. “It was the first round of the regionals, so you always want to make a statement with a win. I scored the first goal on a breakaway. I wasn’t nervous I just shot it.”
Six minutes later, Schandl scored back-to-back goals in a minute and a half span assisted by Lily Britt and Shaneyfelt.
“They were very exciting,” Schandl said. “My first one was also on a breakaway, so it was a look into how the rest of the game was going to play out. The other ref said I was one away from a hat trick and I said, ‘I’m trying’ and then I got taken out.”
Pestka repeated that feat eight minutes later scoring her first goal with 20 minutes remaining and her second 1:50 later.
“It’s an exciting thing,” Pestka said. “I had a hat trick a couple games ago, so I’m not really scared to shoot any more. I feel confident when I’m up there.”
Britt upped the lead to 6-0 just 2:40 into the second half on a pass from Schandl. One minute and 22 seconds later, Britt set up Shaneyfelt for her second goal.
With 23 second remaining, sophomore defender Bailey Taylor playing at forward scored after an end to end run.
“We let the defense go out and have a little fun and “One” (Taylor) ran up there and we gave her a hard time because she went to pass it and about fell,” Ray said. “But it ended up going perfect for her because she got to run through and get her first goal in the field after scoring one a penalty kick earlier in the season. She then came back and said, ‘coach, that’s a lot of running I want to play defense’. I told her she runs more on defense than she did then.”
Harrisburg’s best scoring chance came with eight and a half minutes left in the first half, but the shot from the left side bounced off the post to the right of Geffers.
With 11 minutes remaining, Shaneyfelt replaced Geffers in goal allowing Geffers to play the remainder of the game in the field.
“The last time I played in goal was like in fourth grade when I played with Jay, so I got really excited when I was sent in,” Shaneyfelt said.