FAIRMONT — Saturday was a day of firsts for the East Fairmont girls soccer team.

Their 4-1 victory over Fairmont Senior is the Bees’ first sectional crown in school history. And with the win over the Polar Bears, the Bees celebrated the first time they’d beaten their Westside counterparts in over a decade.

Though they fell behind 1-0 after Kate Gribben’s corner kick goal in the 31st minute, a strong second half, headlined by a Maddie Lott hat trick, secured the victory.

“When they scored, we kind of just gave up,” Lott said of the Bees’ first half. “And I talked to them in the locker room so that we would not give up again, and I really wanted to beat West side.”

“Feels really good to finally beat them, 10 years.”

It was Kierstyn Maxey who set up all three of Lott’s scores, keeping plays alive for Lott to finish off. The pair have been twin engines for the Bees for much of the season, and earned their coach’s praise after the win.

“Maddie Lott to me is the top forward in the state,” East Fairmont head coach Eric Wright said. “She never gives up on a ball. She’s got the foot skill, she’s got the determination, she’s got the drive. I’ve never seen that kid give up on a ball. Kierstyn had the three assists on all three of Maddie’s goals. The two of them together are the best 1-2 punch in the state.”

East’s second half was a product of winning first touches in the midfield, and being quick to the ball, despite the rain that came and went throughout the game.

“We didn’t change anything,” Lott said of their second half play. “Except for just communicating more and not giving up so quickly just because they got one point. Our team is kind of a second-half team where we come back a lot better in the second half than the first half.”

“We dominated first half, at least the first 30 minutes,” Wright said. “The last 10 minutes we fell off. I told the girls at halftime, we’re scoring at least two, we won’t give up another goal, and we’re winning this game. We’ve done that all year; they didn’t disappoint. They never do. I just couldn’t be more proud of a group of players.”

The Bees’ day was capped off by a goal from McKenzie Moyer in the 78th minute. The victory marked a historic moment for not only the players on the field, but the whole school. Wright’s group captured the first sectional championship in East Fairmont history, and are hoping for even more success moving forward.

“This is great, it’s better then I even expected,” Wright said. “I don’t have much voice left right now. This is 12 years in the making, my twelfth year this is our first sectional championship for the Lady Bees in school history for soccer. We’re excited.”

“We did have expectations coming into the season. This was one of them, but this wasn’t the end of them. We’ve got more to go.”

The Bees are back in action at East-West Stadium this Tuesday against Oak Glen. As of Sunday, game time is set for 7 p.m.

Reach Nick Henthorn at 304-367-2548 or by email at nhenthorn@timeswv.com.

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