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Soccer boys win three

Aaron Nicely controls the ball for the Byrd boys.
PHOTO BY JIM DEVINNEY

The William Byrd soccer team is heating up with the post-season near. Byrd won three games in the past week to improve to 5-9 overall.

The three game win streak started with a 4-0 win over Christiansburg last Wednesday. Junior Gavin Simpson scored off a free kick that hit the crossbar, then Luke Johnston scored twice to give Byrd the lead at the half, 3-0. Tristan Brady scored a second half goal and Spike Purcell had a shutout in the goal, finishing with 10 saves.

On Friday at home the Terriers defeated Fort Defiance, 8-1. Johnston had three goals in the first half alone and seniors Brady and Beem Sareekun had one each for a 5-0 halftime lead. Gavin Simpson had two goals in the second half and Andrew Brooks added one for the 8-1 final.

“It should have been more,” said coach Matthew Guilliams. “ I was a little disappointed we didn’t finish some other chances we had, but overall it was still a good performance. We defended fairly well, we just need to be better about the balls we play and our movement off the ball.”

On Tuesday Byrd made it three in a row with a 4-1 win over William Fleming at Vinton’s Patterson Sadium. Fleming jumped to a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game, but after that it was all Byrd.

Brady evened the score off a rebound of a Simpson free kick, then Simpson scored one of his own for a 2-1 lead at the half.

Brady’s second goal, about 20 minutes into the second half, gave Byrd a 3-1 lead. Wahtshee Htoo capped off the scoring with an assist to Johnston.

“We are finding our stride and identity here in this past week,” said Guilliams. “We have done some really good things. I still don’t think we have hit our peak, but we are certainly closer now to it than we have been all season and I’ll take it considering we only have two regular season games remaining before the postseason begins.”

Byrd was scheduled to play at Lord Botetourt on Wednesday, and Friday the Terriers are at Staunton River.

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