Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy
Sisters Hannah and Sarah Max each scored a pair of goals to lead Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy to a 5-0 girls' soccer victory over an injury-depleted James Wood team. It took the Patriots just six minutes to score twice and establish their dominance over the Colonels.
"I thought we really oved the ball around well," SVCA coach Dustin Wheelock said. "That gave us a lot of good opportunities to score. We're pikcing up our intensity as the season moves along and that's what we're looking for from this team."
Hannah Max got the first goal for SVCA, hammering home a shot from 25 yards out past Wood goalkeeper Claire Beccaccio just two minutes into the game. Cat Eppard put the Patriots up 2-0 just four minutes later when she sent a ball from left wing past Beccaccio from 15 yards out. "It was really intense out there," said Hannah Max, who assisted on Eppard's goal. "But, it was also a lot of fun. We were able to come out early and jump ahead. That gave us a lot of momentum."
SVCA's two early goals combined with a wind advantage seemed to take the starch out of the Colonels as they failed to produce a shot on goal during the entire first half. The Wood defense did stiffen behind the play of sweeper Neary Casebolt. It took the Patriots 27 minutes before they were able to connect on another goal.
It wasn't for a lack of effort as the Patriots hammered away at the Colonels goal for the entire half. With seven minutes remaining, Sarah Max took a cross from Hannah Max from right wing and volleyed it past Beccaccio to give SVCA a 3-0 lead.
"We played them earlier this season," Sarah Max said. "We knew that Neary was a really good player in the middle of their defense so we decided to try and exploit the wings. That really helped to get the early lead."
With less than a minute left in half, Hannah Max scored her second goal, nailing a shot from 15 yards out off a pass from Abby Mason to put the Patriots up 4-0.
"Our local teams are really good this year, and we've done well against them so far," Wheelock said. I'm very pleased with how we've stacked up against them."
Trailing by four goals to begin the final 40 minutes, the Colonels got more bad news when standout forward Kaylah Ganiewiecz could not play after suffering an injury in the first half. That left the Colonels with little offense. Still htey showed grit and determination can substitue for talent and kept it tight in the second half.
"We're really depleted, and in the second half we lost Kaylah," Wood coach Jim Carden said. "But our kids really played their hearts out. What more could any coach ask for? We put some kids back on defense that hadn't played there before. They played a magnificent second half."
Like the first half, the Patriots attacked Wood's goal relentlessly, attempting 13 second-half shots. This time, the Colonels defense refused to budge and Beccaccio registered an oustanding effort in goal. Despite SVCA's almost continuous attack, the Wood sophomore made seven secon-half saves, six of which were difficult.
SVCA was only able to crack the Colonels defense once in the second half, when Sarah Max scored from 20 yards out off a pass from Logyn Shollenberger with 22 minutes left.
"We were worn out at the end of the game," Carden said. "But our goalkeeper played well in the second half, and made some terrific saves. I'm so proud of this team. They didn't run away and hide."
Written by Jerry Holsworth