WEST PORTSMOUTH – Wheelersburg (2-0, 1-0 SOC) was expected to win Wednesday night’s contest against West (0-2, 0-2 SOC), and they did so handily 10-0.
A win is a win is a win. No matter the margin, the opponent, the execution of play; they all matter none if the end result is a victory. But, in the early goings of the season, the Pirates execution of plays and playing style in Wednesday’s contest allowed them to pull away from West.
For Wheelerburg coach Todd Jarvis, that type of execution like he’s used to seeing from a more experienced team was a sweet surprise.
“I appreciated the aggressiveness that we played with,” Jarvis said. “It becomes a mindset. It took us about ten minutes to settle in, but once we did we did great. It’s an SOC conference game and we always take these dead serious. Coach [Tom] Hoggard has gotten a good group of girls out; we expected them to play hard and they did. Once we started to settle down and knock a few balls through the net, we started to see the benefits of that.”
“I thought we competed well,” West coach Tom Hoggard said. “They’re the class of the league, them and Waverly are two of the best. We’ve got 22 girls, 15 of them this is the first of second year that they’ve played. We’re gaining and improving, and hopefully one day we can be where they’re at. We played hard, played for 80 minutes, keep doing those things and hopefully one day we can compete with them.”
The Pirates did much of their scoring in the first half of Wednesday’s SOC conference opening game. Three Pirates each scored two goals while four Pirates scored a goal apiece: Laney Elley connected on two goals (30:25 left in 1H unassisted, 15:35 left in 1H assisted by Allie Vallance), Alaina Keeney connected on two goals (27:09 left in 1H unassisted, 8:40 left in 1H assisted by Annie Coriell), and Brittani Wolfenbarker scored two goals (21:46 left in 1H assisted by Chelsee Steele, 4:25 left in 1H unassisted). Lani Irwin (18:16 left in 1H unassisted), Jordan Jennings (5:52 left in 1H unassisted), Jocelyn Tilley (37:42 left in 2H unassisted), and Chelsee Steele (30:00 left in 2H unassisted) rounded out the Pirates scoring efforts in their second win of the season.
For Jarvis, seeing three players be able to find the net in bunches in their win Wednesday is promising as the season progresses.
“I thought they played great. They were in the right spots at the right time. Having those midfield goals from them is kind of unexpected, I think we may have more midfield goals this year than we had all of last year. But that’s a positive.”
West and Hoggard will take on Ironton at home Monday in their third game of the season.
“I want to keep seeing their teamwork,” Hoggard said. “They get along really well together, they work hard. We’ve got to keep going, keep practicing, keep working.”
As for Jarvis’ Pirates, they get a week off before having to face the Ironton St. Joe Flyers next Wednesday at home at 7 p.m.
“My hope is that defensively we can become a much better team,” Jarvis said. “We take a lot of pride in defending. We score goals, but I think we get shortchanged sometimes when people realize we give up less than a goal a game most of the time. That’s where we want to be, at this point in the season we’re not there, but we can still get better there.”
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