Enquirer Herald

Clover girls team tournament-tested

CLOVER -- The Clover High School girls' soccer team continues to face formidable opposition in tournament action as a means of maintaining the level of play necessary to be successful in the region.

The Lady Blue Eagles won the first two games of tournament play Saturday at Air Port High in Columbia before losing the third game.

Senior standouts Britta Widenhouse and Ashley Hollander said the CHS girls benefited from the caliber of competition as well as the team bonding that took place sharing rooms away from home.

"It's a good experience competing against different teams before we return to region play," Hollander said.

Widenhouse agreed.

"Competing against tough teams and being together on spring break away from home is good for the team," she said.

Earlier in the season, the Lady Blue Eagles made their presence felt in a prestigious soccer tournament held at Byrnes High School.

"We lost 1-0 to Vestavia High School of Alabama, ranked No. 24 in the nation," head coach Leanne Mellon said. "Our kids were amazing."

The CHS girls extended Nation Ford to the final seconds before bowing 1-0 at home last week.

Both Widenhouse and Hollander said the region showdown with Nation Ford was hard fought from start to finish.

"It was anybody's game in the final seconds," noted Widenhouse. "We had opportunities."

Said Hollander, "Every player on the team gave it all they had. It was a tough loss."

The CHS girls defeated Northwestern 4-0 last week.

Kelsey Hamilton scored two goals, one on an assist from Jordon Allen and the other unassisted.

Jackie Antunes scored on a assist from Ashley Forehand and Widenhouse scored, assisted by Forehand.

The Lady Blue Eagles are finding their niche after losing four regulars to graduation last year.

"We brought in new people to go with our established players," Mellon said. "We have players stepping up to the challenge."

"We don't have great individual play but we have a great team," she added. "Our players get along and play together."

Mellon is looking for continued success in the region and to make a run in the playoffs.

The Lady Blue Eagles return to region competition Tuesday at home against Fort Mill, beginning at 7 p.m. The next game is Thursday at Lancaster at 7 p.m.