MADISON — Scott High (7-1-10) played a match against Mingo Central (2-10) on Oct. 15, the final home game for the Lady Skyhawks before sectionals begin.
Each team had taken a loss in their previous games, and were looking for a win to build momentum at the end of the regular schedule.
The first half saw the home side attacking Mingo Central’s zone more often than not, but the Lady Hawks had some trouble converting chances. A goal finally did come out of the team’s efforts, however, with 19 minutes left.
Junior Berta Pintado, playing on the right side, made a successful run in front of the net and buried it to put Scott High up 1-0.
Mingo Central received a penalty kick minutes later, but sophomore keeper Jayden Elkins easily saved it and kept the Lady Hawks in the lead before the end of the half.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Pintado scored her second goal on an impressive shot from over 20 yards out on the right side.
The ball sailed over and past Mingo’s senior goalkeeper Destiny Blackburn, and Scott’s lead raised to 2-0. Later, with just less than 29 minutes left, Berta Pintado put the ball in the back of the net once more to complete a hat trick in what was a phenomenal showing for the junior, 3-0.
With about 25:35 left on the clock, freshman Jon’C Atkinson delivered a cross from the right side of the field, which sailed toward the area just in front of the left side of the net.
Sophomore Ashley Dingess ran to the position and scored off a header, the score going up to 4-0 on a spectacular play from the two underclassmen.
Five minutes later, senior captain Diana Birchfield picked up the ball and scored a 5-0 goal, netting one for her school on her last regular schedule home match.
The score stayed 5-0 for the remainder, and the Lady Hawks’ record improved to 8-1-10 before their trip to Saint Joseph Central that Friday.
Postgame, coach Del Kimbler discussed what the team did well and what they could do better. He was more pleased with the long shots and plays from the girls, as they found more success from them. Looking ahead to St. Joe, Kimbler stressed the importance of passing on the road ahead.
“Teams like that are not going to put 10 people in the box,” the coach said, “so our passing is much better on that, and that’s what we’ve got to work on.”
Kimbler praised Pintado’s performance, saying “She’s a special ball player. That girl can play pretty much anywhere, she’s good.”
Kimbler mentioned that her ability to facilitate plays and adapt to taking on different roles are two of her strongest suits.
Birchfield’s goal meant something special for her coach, who was happy to see her score on her senior night. Birchfield and Elizabeth Music are Scott’s only two seniors.
Finally, the Atkinson-Dingess goal drew great appreciation from coach Kimbler. “Jon’C crossed that and Ashley did textbook crash-down, back-post, perfect-spot heading the ball. You can’t do anything better than that.”
Kimbler’s message to the team before sectionals was simple: “Team ball. Pass the ball. Good defense. That’s all we have to do… We haven’t been blown out by anyone this year, and I think we could play with anybody this year. Take it one game at a time.”
The Coal Valley News will be covering sectionals games as they progress.