By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
You can’t blame Class AA-A girls soccer defending champion Bridgeport for looking over its shoulder.
Unbeaten Sissonville and a couple of dark horses peaking at the right time could make things interesting for the fourth-ranked Indians, who play No. 6 PikeView at approximately 11:45 a.m. at the YMCA’s Carter Family Foundation Stadium.
No. 1 Sissonville takes on No. 3 Fairmont Senior to open the tournament at 9:30 a.m.
Bridgeport (15-3-3), a 3-2 winner over Fairmont Senior in last season’s title match, outscored opponents 57-20 during the regular season. Its losses to Charleston Catholic, Fairmont Senior and Morgantown were by a combined 7-0 score.
John Reese’s Indians struggled in their first sectional against Lincoln, a 4-3 decision, and went to a shootout against Grafton. They outpointed the Bearcats 3-2 on penalties to advance.
Midfielder Natalie Prater has been a standout on the attack with 12 goals and nine assists.
Mikayla Oliverio has 14 goals, while Emily McCarthy tallied eight and Josefine Adding notched five. Alexis Lindsay has seven assists.
The Indians had eight shutouts and goalkeeper Morgan Wills racked up 86 saves.
PikeView, with 2012 state coach of the year Sam Hill at the helm, lost three starters early to injuries. Others stepped up, and the Panthers bounced back to compile a 15-5-1 record.
They outscored opponents 67-21 (6-1 in the playoffs), and had 46 assists. The five losses were each by two goals or less other than a 6-0 verdict against Charleston Catholic.
Balance is the key: Freshman Lexie O’Dell paces PikeView with 16 goals and nine assists. Senior Brooke Baker follows with 11 scores, and has helped on another seven.
Other top offensive players include juniors Shyann Carr (8, 7) and Courtney Gray (8 goals), sophomore Sophie Klein (6, 6) and freshman Kari Shrewsbury (5, 6).
Goalkeeper Kristen Brinkley averaged 3.95 assists per game.
n Sissonville (20-0-3) and longtime coach Al Sadeghian have sliced through the opposition, outscoring foes 97-13 going into the playoffs, where they downed a solid Charleston Catholic team 2-0 in the Region 4 finals.
The Indians, a perennial contender for the title, lost to upstart Grafton in the 2011 finals.
They’re back with a killer offense featuring two players, sophomore forwards Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton, with 38 goals apiece.
Senior Mary Schmeck has 15 goals, while junior Taylor Rhodes has chipped in 11. Both are midfielders.
Goalkeeper Brooke Reed, another talented sophomore, has 12 clean sheets.
Sissonville’s ties were to Bridgeport (2-2) and Class AAA squads Parkersburg South (1-1) and Hurricane (3-3).
Back on Aug. 24, the Indians downed Fairmont Senior 4-1.
The Polar Bears lost their next game, 4-2 to Brooke, and have not lost since.
Ryann Moore’s squad outscored opponents 86-24 in the regular season, and earned a berth at states with a 2-1 victory over Madonna.
Seniors Gabi Mascoro and Ivey Nucilli play travel soccer together, and are Fairmont Senior’s top scorers.
It was sophomores Sofia Sansalone and Tressa Bonasso, however, who had the goals in the win over Madonna.
Today’s semifinal winners will play at 11 a.m. Saturday for the championship.