Murray sets goal-scoring record in Sissonville win
It wasn't Lydia Murray's easiest three-goal game, but her determination shined through once more.
The senior battled a stiff lower back Thursday evening to become the Kanawha Valley's career leader in goals scored as host Sissonville defeated PikeView 7-1. A crowd of about 60 attended the matchup of Class AA-A state-ranked girls high school soccer teams at Joe Sawyers Field.
Murray has now netted 131 career goals, eclipsing the mark of former Sissonville standout Rebekah Kendall, who tallied 130. The top three spots on the Kanawha Valley career goals list are now occupied by former Indians - Murray, Kendall and Jennifer Povick (129).
Murray at times didn't have her trademark speed when chasing down balls and bent over with her hands on her knees on several occasions. She even sat out a couple of times in both halves.
"It was hard, but you've just got to push through it and keep going,'' said Murray, who recently committed to the University of Charleston.
Murray set the record with 15:32 left in the game off a corner kick from junior Mary Schmeck. Murray put a foot on the ball after Schmeck sent it across the face of the goal and controlled it, then turned around and deposited it in the back of the net.
Murray's teammates surrounded her as she headed up the field to the center circle. The game was momentarily stopped as Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian presented Murray the game ball to a round of cheers.
"I'm just really happy,'' said Murray. "I couldn't have done it without my whole team behind me helping. It just kind of happened. I've been working toward it since my freshman year. I didn't really think about this until the end of last year when I was kind of close.''
Murray has overcome some heartache in the last few years. She considered quitting after her father's death in 2011, then last season, after the Indians advanced to the state tournament for the first time since winning it all in 2002, they lost 2-1 to Grafton in the title game.
"She's been our inspiration,'' Sadeghian said of Murray. "She's done a good job being a team leader and she's very unselfish. One of the good characteristics about her, she's also leading us in assists the last four years.''
Murray tied Povick for second on the all-time career-scoring list early in the first half on a goal set up by senior Cassidy Lewis to stake Sissonville to a 2-0 lead. Murray tied Kendall's mark about halfway through the second half on an assist from freshman Madison Jones as the Indians went ahead 5-1.
The Indians (17-2), who ascended to the top spot in the state coaches association rankings this week, have won 12 straight and allowed their first goal Thursday after 11 straight shutouts. They haven't lost since a 3-0 setback at Bridgeport on Sept. 1.
"We just need to keep working hard at practice,'' said Murray. "We're going to be playing some stronger teams soon. To keep the streak going would be awesome, get all the way to states and keep winning.''
Jones finished with two goals for the Indians while Rhodes pitched in a goal and two assists, Lewis chipped in a tally and freshman keeper Brooke Reed turned in three saves.
Laura Hill, who has committed to West Virginia Wesleyan, tallied a goal to pull the No. 5 Panthers (11-3-2) within 2-1 early in the first half, netting her 97th career goal and 41st of the season. Sissonville scored the final five goals to close out the victory.
"We don't have that many opportunities in our end of the state to play the quality of opponent Sissonville is,'' said PikeView coach Sam Hill. "The biggest difference in the game was that Sissonville plays that quality every time out.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.