Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy
|Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy||11|
|Broadfording Christian Academy||0|
With a steady rain falling down, Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy sophomore forward Sarah Max tried to step on the ball in the 25th minute, but she slipped and took a seat on the grass. Before Max got back up, she smiled and laughed. It's pretty easy to brush off a slightly embarrassing moment when there's just so much that's going right.
SVCA continued its dominance of the Mason Dixon Christian Conference with an 11-0 win over Broadfording Christian Academy (Md.) on Monday. Led by three goals from Isabel Lauderback (her first hat trick of the season) and two goals and one assist from Sarah's older sister Hannah, the Patriots improved to 13-1-1 overall and 8-0 in the MDCC.
All of Lauderback's and Max's goals came in the first half, which saw SVCA outscore the Lions (1-7, 1-6) 7-0 and outshoot them 24-1. The Patriots finished with a 36-1 shot advantage overall after pulling back significantly in the second half, mostly working the ball around rather than shoot.
SVCA, which had eight different players net goals Monday, has outscored its opponents 59-3 in conference games, and no conference squad has lost by less than four goals to a Patriots team that has grown a lot over the course of the season.
"At the beginning of the season, we had a strong team, player-wise," said Hannah Max, a senior midfielder whose second goal Monday came off an assist from Sarah. "How we've come together, just the ball movement we have, no matter what players are in, I think that's pretty incredible at this point in the season."
After defeating Broadfording 11-0 in the first meeting between the two teams on March 30, the Patriots knew what to expect heading into Monday, and SVCA head coach Dustin Wheelock was poleased with the execution.
"We moved the ball around really well," Wheelock said. "We're getting quicker at switching the point of attack and being creative with how we attack teams, getting numbers forward quickly. There's definitely some improvement."
The Patriots didn't waste time pressing the Broadfording goal. SVCA's initial shot of the game in the second minute rebounded off the right post and bounced to the center of the goal mouth, where the seionr midfielder Lauderback was waiting to knock the ball in.
The Patriots would fire six more shots toward Broadfording keeper Tillie Derr (10 saves total) over the next mine minutes, but did not break through until Hannah Max (team-high 20 goals, 11 assists) fired in a shot from 20 yards out to make it 2-0 in the 11th minute.
After that, there was no slowing down the Patriots. Sophomore midfielders Rebekah Max (Sarah's twin sister) and Mackenzie Vining also scored goals in SVCA's 7-0 first half, a run that was capped by Lauderback's penalty kick goal with a minute to go before the break.
Lauderback said it was definitely nice to get the hat trick, but she liked the overall team dynamic. "We're possessing the ball really well, passing it around, getting the ball to open spaces and using the width of the field," she said.
The Patriots added goals in the second half by Zee Harris, Logyn Shollenberger, sophomore Emily Green and Emily's junior sister Susannah Green.
Cori Whisenant made one save in the shutout in goal. In addition to Sarah Max, others who had assists for SVCA on Monday were Hannah Max, Rebekah Max, Trinity Walraven, Nikki Taylor, and Vining.
SVCA's defense wasn't tested much on Monday, but Anna schloemer, Clare Lauderback (Isabel's sister), Cora Snyder and Cat Eppard certainly helped start the Patriots attack at times with their ball movement and they contributed to the Patriots' ninth shutout this season.
"They are such a big part of this team," Wheelock said. "They really allow us to be creative going forward, and they win the ball consistently and play to feet very quickly. They take very few touches."
SVCA has another conference game today at 5 p.m. against Calvary Christian, then trafels to St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School on Thursday in Dumfries.
The local public schools have tested SVCA the most this year- The Patriots swept James Wood, tied Sherando and suffered their only loss to Handley - but St. John could be their toughest test to date as their season winds down. The Patriots have six more games before they'll look to defend their MDCC and National Association of Christian Athletes title in the postseason.
"St. John beat us here last year 1-0, and they were the best team we played all year," Wheelock said. "They really controlled a lot of the game, so St. John will really be a big challenge for us."
Written by Robert Niedzwiecki