EAST LIVERPOOL - The Potters recorded a big win on a special night over a local rival.
Three players scored goals as the East Liverpool girls' soccer team held on to defeat local-rival Oak Glen, 3-2, Thursday night at Mangano Field.
Nicole Talbott tallied a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Potters (5-4). Kelsey Diddle and Gretchen Dietz also collected goals for East Liverpool. Breanna Partezana added an assist for the victors.
East Liverpool Katie Smith get a Gatorade bath. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Joe Savage)
Chelsea Possage made 10 saves in goal, including stopping a penalty shot by Oak Glen senior standout Megan Collins.
"It was a good night," first-year East Liverpool head coach Katie Smith said. "We stepped to the ball. Our passes were on key. Our defense held strong the whole game.
"We knew going into the game that we were going to have to keep a close eye on Megan Collins. We switched up our entire defense to stop her.
"Sarah Guildoo and Nicole Linkous did a great job on defense."
Despite the best efforts by the Potters' defense, Collins still managed to find the back of the net for the Golden Bears (5-4).
Alex Burch chipped in with a goal late in the second half to pull Oak Glen to within 3-2, but the Golden Bears were unable to score the equalizer.
Mollie Williams and Shania Helmick contributed assists for the visitors.
Casey Highfield made nine saves in goal.
"It was a tough game," Oak Glen head coach Sam Paletta, who is in his first season as head coach of the girls' team, said. "East Liverpool has a new coach and a new philosophy.
"She has them playing tough. She has got them believing they can win. They are playing hard soccer.
"I have to give east Liverpool credit. They came to play.
"I'm not taking anything away from my team. Our girls kept pushing to the net. Our girls played hard. Our girls played tough until the end. We battled the whole way."
With the win, the Potters surpassed last season's win total of four.
"We played a complete game," Smith said. "We played until the whistle blew."
The game was played in memory of Emily Bickerton, and all of the proceeds from the concession stand and the 50/50 drawing was donated to the Emily Bickerton Memorial Scholarship fund.
A nice-sized crowd turned out to watch the game.
"We are so happy to honor Emily Bickerton and the Bickerton family tonight," Smith said. "It made the big win even more special."
Both teams are scheduled to travel south to Jefferson County for games on Saturday. Oak Glen is scheduled to play at 10 a.m. at Catholic Central. East Liverpool is scheduled to play at noon at Edison.