Hurricane sophomore forward Bailey Fisher is out of this week’s state tournament after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Redskins’ 2-0 Class AAA Region 4 final win over Parkersburg South on Saturday.
Fisher broke the unofficial state record for goals this season and with both tallies against the Patriots on Saturday, will finish the year with 66, breaking the old mark of 59 set by PikeView’s Laura Hill in 2012.
“When she did go out, we still had nine shots on goal in the second half,” Hurricane coach Shelly Young said. “We’re hoping to have someone else step up for us. When Bailey went down, it deflated us a little bit because all of the girls were worried about it. Bailey knew, or at least suspected, that she was going to be out not only the rest of the game but for a while. But she didn’t sit over there and pout. She was encouraging teammates and I think that says a lot for her as a teammate.”
The Redskins (19-2-1) will need to rely on their stellar defense, which has allowed five goals in 22 games this season. However three of those were given up in a 3-0 loss to Morgantown on Oct. 12. The Mohigans, champions of Class AAA Region 1, await Hurricane in a semifinal scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday at Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex in Beckley.
“Obviously, Bailey is one of our biggest strengths but another one is our defense,” Young said. “We’ve got the best goals-against average in the state. Playing defense isn’t a flashy position, but that doesn’t change the importance of their contribution. Our goalie [junior Olivia Bird] always comes up big in playoff games too, so all of that has to be a part of our game plan.”
In winning a state championship a year ago, Fisher scored all four of the Redskins’ regulation goals in the state tournament as well as a penalty kick in an overtime victory over Wheeling Park in the Class AAA championship game.
Senior Dani Ray, who took off her sophomore and junior years to focus on running, has now come back and has had a good year, recording 13 goals and 20 assists up to this point. Much of the offensive burden will likely be on her shoulders this weekend in Beckley.
“It forces the rest of the team to step up and that’s good for them,” Young said. “If you look at Dani’s numbers, they’re about right where other teams’ second-leading scorers are.
“I think Bailey is going to continue to be vocal from the bench and try to lead as much as she can for our team.”