By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Just give Madison Jones the ball.
“I was pretty confident,” the sophomore forward said after her penalty kick gave Sissonville’s Indians a 1-0 victory over the Bridgeport Indians in the championship game of the Class AA-A girls soccer tournament Saturday at the YMCA’s Carter Family Foundation Stadium.
Bridgeport goalkeeper Morgan Willis guessed which way the ball was coming, but was unable to stop the shot — Jones’ 40th goal of the season.
“I practice a lot and I’m consistent,” Jones said of the PK. “I hoped for the best and I was lucky.”
Karli Pinkerton had driven the ball into the box and was taken down by Bridgeport defender Jennafer Alonge.
Coach John Reese had no problem with the referee’s decision.
“She is the best side-tackler on the team, but she didn’t get to the ball. It was a good call,” he said. “She thought she would get there.”
Less than two minutes later, Bridgeport (16-4) nearly equalized on a free kick from 20 yards out by Natalie Prater.
Sissonville goalkeeper Brooke Reed timed her leap perfectly and nudged the ball into the crossbar and away.
“Brooke is very good on distance (shots) and will not give up a goal,” coach Ali Sadeghian said. “She made a great save.”
Bridgeport finished with five shots on goal to just two for No. 1-ranked Sissonville (22-0-3).
“If they’d got their first goal (on Prater’s kick), it might have been a different story,” Sadeghian said. “Brooke saved us.”
Reese expected a different outcome for his defending champion and No. 4-ranked Indians.
“I have a lot of confidence in our ability,” he said. “I thought this would be our game, and we would win 3-0.
“Our defense played fantastic, and our midfield was awesome. But we couldn’t get the right ball when we’d get down to the 18.”
Sadeghian believed conditioning helped Sissonville.
“We’re a young team (with 11 freshmen), and we don’t have a deep bench. We rotate 12 players, while (Bridgeport) was subbing every five minutes.
“We didn’t do that. Our girls are conditioned so well, and they did a great job.”
— E-mail: dstillwell@