By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 3 — With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Luray High School girls soccer team sits firmly in second place in the Bull Run District with a record of 10-1. The Bulldogs’ lone loss this spring came to last year’s district champion and current district leader Clarke County, who remains undefeated at 11-0.
While seven of Luray’s 10 wins this season have been by a margin of six goals or more, the Bulldogs fell to the Eagles of Clarke, 8-0, on April 20. Luray will face off again with Clarke in their final regular season game at Bulldog Field on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Strasburg fell twice this season to Luray, but only by a combined three goals (3-2 on April 4, and 4-2 on April 29). Central played Luray to a 3-1 loss on April 26. The remainder of the Bulldogs’ schedule has effectively been blowouts, several games being stopped early via the 8-goal slaughter rule. Luray has shutout their opponents four times this season.
On Tuesday, however, the Eagles of East Rock put up a good fight at Bulldog Field, where the score was tied at 2-2 with 15 minutes left in the first half. Freshman attacker Katelyn Taglauer opened up the scoring eight minutes in the game to give Luray and early 1-0 lead. East Rock sophomore Nicole Landis answered back about five minutes later…and then again about two minutes after that as the visitors took a 2-1 lead. The Eagles saw their best offensive flurry during this stretch and mostly played defense in front of their own goal the rest of the match.
LHS senior Emilee Weakley dominated the final 15 minutes of the first half, scoring three consecutive goals to give Luray a 4-2 lead at the break. The Bulldogs took 21 shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes, compared to only four for the Eagles.
Freshman Annah Whitmer and sophomore Savannah Owens took turns scoring two goals each over the first 33 minutes of the second half to give Luray an 8-2 lead heading into the final stretch.
Each team scored a goal in the final 3:30 to give the Bulldogs a 9-3 district win. Luray controlled the ball most of the match and took a total of 37 shots on goal, compared to only seven by East Rock. Both Weakley and Whitmer finished the night with three goals each.
Despite the loss, East Rock’s sophomore goalkeeper Catherine Funkhouser played a solid game with more than a dozen dramatic saves during the match. The Eagles suffered a 9-1 loss to Luray at home on April 1, when Weakley came within two goals of tying a state record by scoring all nine goals herself.
With the win, Luray improves to 10-1 on the season and will next travel to Wilson Memorial on Thursday for a 7 p.m. match before taking a week off and hosting Mountain View on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m.
With the loss, East Rock drops to 2-8-1 on the season and will next travel to Mountain View on Tuesday before heading to Page County next Thursday.
LHS boys end double OT in 1-1 draw
After ending regulation at 1-1, Luray was unable to break the tie against East Rockingham through two five-minute overtime periods in Tuesday’s district match at Bulldog Field. LHS sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Bell had several key stops in overtime, while junior Jordan Jenkins came up just short in several shots on goal during extended play.
The draw brings Luray’s record to 4-7-1 on the season with four matches remaining. The Bulldogs will next travel to Rappahannock on Monday before hitting the road for Mountain View next Friday.
Mongold’s walk-off hit secures 3-2 win
With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the seventh, LHS senior Isaiah Mongold got the walk-off, game-winning hit to secure a 3-2 victory over East Rockingham on Tuesday at Bulldog Field. The hard-fought win is only the second of the season for Luray, who defeated rival Page 6-3 on April 22.
With the win, the Bulldogs move to 2-12 on the season with six games remaining. Next up, Luray was scheduled to travel to Riverheads on Wednesday for a non-district matchup before playing three games next week.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.