Flashes girls led by Luckett

CHAMPION — The Golden Flashes girls soccer team was victorious, 8-0, over Ashtabula Lakeside on a historic night in Champion.

After shattering Champion’s single-season record of 30 goals last year with a 37-goal campaign, senior Madison Luckett broke the school record with her 76th career goal Wednesday evening.

Marissa Walker had set both records in 2010, including the career record of 75.

“I’ve had this goal since my freshman year, so breaking it my senior year was great,” Luckett said. “I was stressed. Now, I feel much less stress. Needing so many goals to try to break the single-season record was really stressful last year.

“It wasn’t as stressful this year, knowing I just needed 15 goals to break the career record. It was a good feeling. Having my teammates and coaches by my side made it a great feeling.”

Luckett needed four goals to break the record, and she wasted no time getting started. After two quick goals by Luckett and sophomore Madi Haines, Champion held a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.

Ten minutes later, Luckett used some fancy footwork to put Champion up 3-0. With 12:33 to go in the first half, sophomore Morgan Hardman scored to make it 4-0.

Lakeside goal keeper Jeanelle Bryan held off more attempts by the Flashes to increase the score, and Champion took the 4-0 lead into halftime. Bryan finished with 18 saves for Lakeside.

With 32:33 to go in the second half, Luckett notched her third goal of the game and tied the record on another dazzling move.

Eight minutes later, Luckett put Champion up 6-0 and broke the school record in the process.

Luckett’s record night was in question until recently, due to the fact that she broke her leg playing soccer for her club team in March.

” I was on crutches for six weeks and in a cast for eight weeks. It was a long time,” Luckett said. “At first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to play this year.”

“Madison is special,” Champion coach Stephanie Tice said. “She had a very big plate and screws put into her ankle. After rehab, she was cleared to play August 1.

“It was absolutely amazing. We didn’t expect her back until this past Saturday. She came back four weeks ahead of time. It shows how dedicated and truly special of a player she is. She deserves everything she earns.”

Two minutes later, senior Gabby Denna put Champion up 7-0. With 3:30 to go, senior captain Carli Swipas put the final touches on the game with Champion’s eighth goal.

“I was proud of the fact that it wasn’t just one person doing the scoring,” Tice said. “There are so many offensive threats on this team. It’s really what makes this team special. We focus on transition defense. Our goal keepers are both great. Our group is very talented.”