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SOCCER: Park’s Grove Leads All-Valley Girls’ Team

December 2, 2012
By JOSH STROPE - Staff Writer (strope@theintelligencer.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Wheeling Park was the dominant girls' soccer program in the OVAC from 1997-2007, winning a string of 11 straight OVAC Cup Tournament titles.

Then things hit a surprisingly rough patch. One season, the Patriots didn't even make the tournament.

Wheeling Park has yet to return the coveted trophy to the Palace on the Hill, but things are moving along quickly.

Article Photos

Pictured is the 17th annual Girls’ All-Valley Soccer Team. Front row, from left: Meghan Horan (Wheeling Park), CeCe Jebbia (Wheeling Park), Ashley Grove (Wheeling Park), Megan Collins (Oak Glen), Michaela Hinerman (Brooke), Cheyenne Hudson (Brooke). Back row are Beth Stayduhar (Wheeling Central), Ashton Cross (Wheeling Central), Bailey Clark (Wheeling Central), Sophie Kinnard (Tyler Consolidated), Taryn Barr (St. Clairsville), and Jessica Derby (Weir). Not pictured is Gift Chima (Linsly). Maleha Kureishy (Linsly) and Sarah Padgett (Steubenville Catholic).

Photo by Josh Strope

A big reason for that has been the play of Ashley Grove.

A starter since her freshman season, Grove has helped lead the Wheeling Park program back among the OVAC and West Virginia elite. Her senior season netted her the captain of The Intelligencer's 17th annual All-Valley Girls' Soccer Team.

''It's a great honor and I really appreciate it,'' Grove said. ''We did well as a team. We had a little higher goals. I thought I did pretty well and I had a great time.''

Fact Box

Girls

First Team

Taryn Barr, St. Clairsville

Gift Chima, Linsly

Bailey Clark, Wheeling Central

Megan Collins, Oak Glen

Ashton Cross, Wheeling Central

Jessica Derby, Weir

Ashley Grove, Wheeling Park (c)

Michaela Hinerman, Brooke

Meghan Horan, Wheeling Park

Cheyenne Hudson, Brooke

CeCe Jebbia, Wheeling Park

Sophie Kinnard, Tyler Consolidated

Maleha Kureishy, Linsly

Sarah Padgett, Steub. Catholic

Beth Stayduhar, Wheeling Central

Second Team

Maria Boston, Steub. Catholic

Cate Calissie, Wheeling Central

Morgan Cassels, Weir

Carly Collins, Wheeling Park

Erin Conaway, Brooke

Taylor Cunningham, Linsly

Mallory Giannamore, Steubenville

Carlee Gillespie, St. Clairsville

Leanne Grubbs, Weirton Madonna

Rachel Grubbs, Weirton Madonna

Shania Helmick, Oak Glen

Kirsten Minger, Brooke

Kristen Shimko, Indian Creek

Alyssa Shingle, Weir

Falon Weidman, St. Clairsville

Honorable Mention

Brooke: Sarah Hardsouk

East Liverpool: Chelsea Possage

Edison: Kylie Long, Bethanie Bube

Indian Creek: Emily Todoroff, Andrea Trice

John Marshall: Erica Haught

Linsly: Kaitlyn Snyder, Leah Memmo

Oak Glen: Alexis Burch, Anna Crawford

Magnolia: Stephanie Mullett, Brianna Young

St. Clairsville: Eberle Ferrell, Brianna Sowers

Steubenville: Loren Gray

Steubenville Catholic: Kristen Looman, Moriah Vosteen

Tyler Consolidated: Victoria Shepherd, Katelyn Smith

Weir: Dominique Gilbert

Weirton Madonna: Amy Davis, Hanna Bargar

Wheeling Central: Mary Stahl, Aspen Matlock

Wheeling Park: Hannah Benner, Devyn Nickerson

Wheeling Park won the sectional for the first time in five seasons.

The Patriots advanced to the regional final and came within an overtime goal of knocking out nationally ranked Morgantown.

Much of that came from the play of Grove.

Grove is listed as a midfielder, but she is the definition of a utility player. Coach Aubrey Taylor had no problem putting her up front to look for a quick score or in the back to stabilize the defense.

Her footwork was arguably the best in the valley.

''I felt I got better every year, just trying to achieve my goals,'' Grove said. ''We are getting better, growing, rebuilding. I can't wait to come back and watch and support the team next year. I hope they do really well.''

Grove, making her second appearance on the All-Valley first team, scored nine goals and added five assists.

She was named first team All-OVAC and was the Class 5A Player of the Year.

Taryn Barr, St. Clairsville

One of the most improved teams this season was St. Clairsville and Barr was a big reason why. Despite spending most of her time on defense, Barr still managed to provide plenty of offense for Coach Scott Dutton. The junior utility player scored 20 goals to go along with two assists, helping lead the Red Devils to the semifinals of the OVAC Cup Tournament and a Class 4A championship. Barr was named to the All-OVAC first team.

Gift Chima, Linsly

Making her return to the All-Valley first team, Chima didn't slow down. Literally. Coach Erica Hall says Chima ''is one of the most fit players I have ever coached.'' The senior center midfielder is nonstop on the field and often plays beyond her position to track opponents down. She is also a capable goal-scorer, scoring six on the season to go along with three assists. Chima was also named first team All-OVAC and by the coaches.

Bailey Clark, Wheeling Central

The Maroon Knights had the most explosive offense in the Ohio Valley and Clark was one of the key pieces. Clark primarily played forward and in the midfield, but also spent time at sweeper and donned the goalie jersey in blowout victories as Wheeling Central captured the sectional championship and was within a game of the its first state championship. The team leader in goals with 25, Clark, who made the All-Valley first team last season, also added eight assists. Clark was also selected first team All-OVAC.

Megan Collins, Oak Glen

A complete offensive player, Collins leaves Oak Glen as one of the most prolific players to ever put on the blue and yellow. Collins finished her senior season with 30 goals and 10 assists, accounting for more than 50 percent of the Golden Bears offense. During a home game Oct. 6 against John Marshall, the senior forward recorded her 100th career goal. She finished with 106. Collins, who makes the All-Valley first team for the second straight season, was also named first team All-OVAC and a first-team selection by the coaches association.

Ashton Cross, Wheeling Central

Clark's partner at forward, Cross is a three-year starter. Cross came just a goal shy of Clark's mark - she had 24 -but led the Maroon Knights in total scoring by adding 24 assists. Much like Clark, Cross is very versatile and moved to the midfield many times where her knowledge of the game helped direct the offense against tougher competition. Cross, who plays for FC Wheeling United in the offseason, makes her second appearance as an All-Valley first-teamer. She was also named to the All-OVAC first team.

Jessica Derby, Weir

It was an unusual down year for the Weir girls, but Derby still established herself as one of the top defensive players in the game. A senior making her second appearance on the All-Valley team, Derby had a motor that never stopped and was the backbone of the Red Riders team. Derby had more than 50 steals and made life a little easier on a first-year goalie. Derby was named All-OVAC and the Class 4A Player of the Year.

Michaela Hinerman, Brooke

As a six seed, Brooke advanced to the OVAC Cup Final behind a youthful team, many of which will be coming back to make another run at the trophy. Coach Lee Wepler is likely very thankful Hinerman will be one of those returning. The team's leading scorer with 21 goals and five assists, the junior forward showed the ability to be an exceptional finisher around the net. Her speed makes her a dangerous weapon on through balls, but she is just as effective trying to get around defenders with the ball in her possession.

Meghan Horan, Wheeling Park

While Grove gets much of the credit for Wheeling Park, she had a pretty good team around her and Horan was every bit as important to the Patriots' rebuilding project. The senior midfielder was a team captain for Taylor's club and was the leader in goals (10) and assists (seven). She took many of the free kicks and often came up big when the team needed it most, including a game-winner against rival Linsly. Horan was also named first team All-OVAC.

Cheyenne Hudson, Brooke

The youngest member of the All-Valley team, Hudson took the Ohio Valley by storm as a freshman. She showcased her talents on the biggest stage, in the OVAC Cup Tournament with perfect free kicks, that resulted in victories against Wheeling Park and St. Clairsville. Wepler is very high on his talented underclassman and with good reason. On free kicks, Hudson was arguably the best in the valley with her precision passes. She led the Bruins with 17 assists, while also adding five goals.

CeCe Jebbia

Wheeling Park

Making her second appearance on the All-Valley first team, Jebbia continued to improve, leading a stout Wheeling Park defense that was one of the toughest in the Ohio Valley to score on. Jebbia plays very calm and doesn't easily gets rattled, despite most times being assigned the opponent's strongest forwards. She also has the ability to join the attack and keep the ball in the offensive zone. A junior, Jebbia will counted on heavily next year as the Patriots try to win back the OVAC Cup championship.

Sophie Kinnard

Tyler Consolidated

It's not often a goalie that gives up 62 goals on the season makes first team All-Valley. With a young and inexperienced team, Kinnard was often the victim of a shooting gallery and despite allowing the amount of goals, Kinnard finished with 293 saves - a 1.175 save percentage. Kinnard, a junior who is getting college looks, also stopped four penalty kicks. Kinnard was thought so highly of around the state that she was named the to coaches all-state first team and was selected as the Goalkeeper of the Year. She was also first team all-OVAC.

Maleha Kureishy

Linsly

Kureishy led the Ohio Valley in points last season (34 goals, 13 assists), and while she didn't live up to those numbers this season, she was as important to Linsly as any player was to their team this season. Kureishy finished with 14 goals and six assists, numbers that could have been more if she had spent more time on offense. As it is, Hall needed Kureishy to play all over the field, where she made the team stronger wherever she was. Just a junior, Kureishy will likely be a leading candidate to be the All-Valley captain in her senior campaign. Along with making her second appearance on the All-Valley team, Kureishy was an OVAC first-teamer and the Class 3A-1A Player of the Year and a first-team selection by the coaches while being named the Defender of the Year.

Sarah Padgett, Steub. Catholic

In her senior season, Padgett came into her own as a lockdown defender for first-year coach David LaRue. Padgett steadied a defense and was one of the toughest 1-on-1 players to go against. Her speed was her biggest asset. Padgett was named first team All-Eastern District and All-OVAC. She was selected to play in both the Eastern District and OVAC all-star games.

Beth Stayduhar

Wheeling Central

Wheeling Central was a doormat for many seasons and Stayduhar can leave the school knowing she helped resurrect the Maroon Knights program. Stayduhar was as hard-working as they come and her presence in the middle on offense and defense was a major part of the team's recent success. Stayduhar had a strong, accurate leg and took most of the team's free kicks and corner kicks, leading to a team- and Ohio Valley-best 23 assists. She also added 14 goals. The senior was first team All-OVAC.

 
 

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