Lady Bobcats make first-ever playoff appearance

Blue Ridge Early College girls varsity soccer team travelled to Kernersville N.C. and took on Bishop McGuinness in round one of their first ever trip to the playoffs last month. Second in state Bishop McGuinness won the game 11-2.

First-ever BREC girls varsity soccer team to make the playoffs. Front row from left are Nayely Mireles, Hannah Stiwinter, Jenny Contreras, Abigail Corona, Paige McCall, Vanessa Russell, Ava Davis, Izzy Moody. Back row from left are Coach nick Pressler, Bella Dorsey, Jessica mace, Kimberly Rodriguez, Peyton Bryson, Holly Foss, Macy Heltsley, Mercedes McLaughlin, and Coach Brittany Elkins.

BREC Jenny Contreras moves the ball towards TCEC’s goal before heading to the playoffs against Bishop McGuinness.

BREC goals were scored by Jenny Contreras and Mercedes McLaughlin.

BREC Mercedes McLaughlin slide-tackles a TCEC player.

“They played well for facing a team of that caliber,” said BREC Coach Nick Pressler. “They held them to 0-0 for the first 20 minutes. For a new program that’s huge.”

Before taking on Bishop McGuiness, the Lady Bobcats hosted Tri County Early College and won 9-0.

BREC Ava Davis sends the ball up to the Lady bobcats’ defense.

The Lady Bobcats will be losing senior Holly Foss and Pressler said that will hurt both on and off the field, but he’s hopeful as most BREC’s players are expected to return next season.

This year BREC loses senior Holly Foss. Pictured above, Foss makes a move around a TCEC defender.

BREC’s girls varsity soccer program began 4 years ago and Pressler said they raised the bar by making the playoffs this season.

BREC Macy Heltsley on a fast break against TCEC.

“This is a tough bunch,” said Pressler. “COVID hurt, especially at a small school, but I see us on the upswing. We’ll continue to build on the blocks we’ve made this next season.”

BREC Goalie Peyton Bryson scopes out her options against TCEC.

BREC Hannah Stiwinter is pretty psyched after putting one in the back of TCEC’s net for a goal.

BREC Vanessa Russell turns a corner and B-lines to TCEC’s goal.

BREC Bella Dorsey drills a shot on goal against TCEC.

BREC Jessica Mace looks for an open teammate to throw to.

BREC Kimberly Rodriguez maintains possession of the ball while weaving through TCEC’s defense.

BREC Nayely Mireles takes the ball downfield at home.

BREC Peyton Bryson kicks the ball deep into midfield.

BREC Izzy Moody is stoked after scoring against TCEC.

BREC Mercedes McLaughlin with a header against TCEC.

BREC Ava Davis cuts to TCEC’s goal.

From left are BREC Ava Davis, Nayely Mireles, and Jenny Contreras forming a wall for a TCEC corner kick.

BREC Holly Foss takes a shot on TCEC’s goal.

BREC Hannah Stiwinter centers the ball in front of TCEC’s goal.

BREC Mercedes McLaughlin laughs after an epic whiff attempting a shot on goal against TCEC.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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