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RCB, Bees battle to tie

by Rob Peirce

SPORTS WRITER

There were more umbrellas than points scored, and the goalie boxes resembled mudwrestling pits before it was over, but the East Fairmont and Robert C. Byrd girls soccer teams got to play Monday night as RCB dedicated its new lights.

The Bees and Eagles battled to a 0-0 tie. The best chance either team had to score was in the fourth quarter, when an RCB penalty kick went wide left.

East Fairmont coach Stacey Sollman breathed a sigh of relief after the kick.

"We have a new keeper this year," she said. "And we really haven't gone over that a lot."

The Eagles hadn't gone over playing in poor conditions, such as Monday night presented, because they haven't had the opportunity to do so, RCB coach Steve Knight said.

"It makes for an unusual game," he said. "And that contributes to a lot of things. You have to dribble the ball all the way in. You can't necessarily pass it real well. The ball's wet; it doesn't kick the same. It doesn't roll on the field, because every water hole it hits, it dies."

Overall, the field conditions were unfavorable, Sollman said.

"It was a hard fought battle, and it was really, really cold and miserable," she said. "Considering the weather, I think the girls played really well. We just couldn't get the ball in the net."

RCB had other opportunities to score besides the penalty kick, Knight said, but the Eagles took their shots from too far out.

The lights the two teams played under cost between $60,000 and $70,000, RCB athletic director Bob Beto said. The school board paid $50,000, and the rest was given from athletic and academic boosters as well as the RCB Soccer Association.

"This is just another giant step forward," Beto said. "The biggest part is completed. We're thankful for that."

Other projects include getting flagpoles for American and West Virginian flags and a scoreboard to accompany the lights on the soccer field, as well as a softball and baseball field, he said.

"It should be a beautiful facility when it's done," he said.

Sports writer Rob Peirce can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com

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