Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ridgeview Prevails over Fleming Island

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ridgeview Prevails over Fleming Island

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Kindland, Times-Union sports writer

A determined defense from a group of girls who marked closely and used their bodies to block shots got their reward Friday when Ridgeview High School took a 3-0 win over district rival Fleming Island.

Sophomore Lianne Stricklen gave Ridgeview all it needed when she scored unassisted from 20 yards out in the game's sixth minute. Jessica Gibson and Kelly Belobraydic added insurance goals, but it was some heads-up goalkeeping by Brittany Wilkinson and tight marking by Gibson, Mandy McCabe, Meghan Powell and the rest of the Panther defense that made the difference.

Fleming Island's biggest scoring threats -- sisters Abby and Jane Buzzell -- were unable to connect from close in after spending the first half taking shots from farther away than what they would have liked.

A cross wind didn't help the Golden Eagles, either. Several of their shots went wide of the net or over the crossbar, and the few shots that were on target were stopped by Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, who has given up just six goals in 13 games so far this season, took her performance in stride.

"That was a lot more [shots on goal] than we usually see," she said after notching her third straight shutout and eighth of the season.

Ridgeview coach Angie Adamson said her players took it upon themselves to gear up for the key District 6-4A matchup.

"They didn't say a word on the bus on the way over," Adamson said. "They just had the aura tonight. They were very focused."

Stricklen, who notched her 27th goal of the season -- two behind her senior sister, Lyndsi -- said her team used only one forward to help bolster the defense against a team that averages five goals a game.

"I think we were totally ready to play," the younger Stricklen said. "We just wanted to focus on defense to shut down their midfielders. …

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