Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Ex-Sissonville Star Has Indians off to Strong Start

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Ex-Sissonville Star Has Indians off to Strong Start

Article excerpt

Former Sissonville soccer standout Rebekah Kendall Messer, one of the most prolific goal scorers in Kanawha Valley history, returned to the Indians sideline this season as the team's first-year coach. Sissonville won its season opener over the weekend under Kendall and followed that up with a 4-1 home victory over Nitro Tuesday night at Joe Sawyers Field to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

Messer scored 130 career goals for Sissonville and held the record in the Kanawha Valley from the time she graduated in 2004 until another former Indian, Lydia Murray, broke it in 2012.

"It feels great to be coaching here at Sissonville, Messer said. "I love it here. I coached and trained soccer in Lexington [Ky.] and moved back and thought it would be a great opportunity. It feels good.

There are lofty expectations for the Indians, who have most of their top players returning from the team that won the Class AA-A state title two years ago. Messer played on the other Sissonville championship team in 2002.

The Indians return three all-state players in forwards/ midfielders Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton, along with goalkeeper Brooke Reed.

"I had heard how much talent I had, Messer said. "I held them to very high expectations when I came in and they have lived up to those high expectations. They are hard workers and I give them all the credit.

In Sissonville's opener, the Indians trailed Capital 3-0 at halftime before Jones led a furious rally in the second half, scoring all five of the team's goals in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Cougars.

The Indians avoided another slow start Tuesday against the Wildcats, taking the lead 14 minutes into the game on a goal by Pinkerton. The senior added another at the 19:17 mark of the first half to give Sissonville a 2-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, it appeared as though Pinkerton might net the hat trick on a beautiful cross that appeared to be going into the back of the Nitro goal, but Olivia Montgomery made a great run and put it in for a 3-0 lead with 17:33 remaining.

Jones netted her sixth goal of the season in just two games with 10:53 left in the first half, and suddenly Sissonville was all over the Wildcats 4-0, and that is how things ended up at halftime. …

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