WHEELING - The Linsly girls' soccer team flexed their muscle early and often Tuesday evening at Holloway Field.
The Cadets scored just five minutes into their game against St. Clairsville and never looked back en route to a 6-0 whitewashing of the Lady Red Devils (3-2).
"We talked before the game about coming out strong from the get-go and I thought we played really good soccer early (in the game) today," said Linsly head coach Erica Hall. "I was really pleased with that. It's a fun game when you can stand on the sideline, get excited about the things we were doing and feel comfortable."
St. Clairsville’s Halee Callarik works the ball upfield against Linsly’s Abby Petho during the second half Tuesday night in Wheeling. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The Lady Cadets played basically the entire 80-minute contest in their end of the field as they peppered St. Clairsville senior keeper Brianna Sowers with no fewer than 35 shots.
"That's a really good team we just played," said first-year St. C. head coach Wes Stoner. "We're still in the learning phase. I'm completely changing the culture and style of our play. We're missing a couple of key defenders (due to injury) and that was apparent because of the confusion in terms of what position we should be in."
Linsly eventually owned a 4-0 lead at the half thanks to goals by Maleha Kureishy, Josie Mosman and a pair of tallies from Kaitlyn Snyder.
Mossman's tally came off a rebound that ricocheted off the cross bar and she headed it into the back of the net.
"I think we played our best game of the season today, so I am excited about that," Hall said. "The biggest challenge, from the beginning of the season, is utilizing all of our girls as best we can because we have a lot of girls who can play different positions. We had to find the best positions that were the best for the team. We're starting to figure out where the puzzle pieces fit together best."
Hall stressed to her team at halftime about keeping up their level of play in the second half despite the big lead.
"St. Clairsville fought from beginning to end," Hall said. "They forced us to step to every ball and play quickly off our feet. They were really aggressive and we knew they wouldn't let up. Playing against a team like that really helps you be able to keep the momentum going."
Morgan Brunner scored on a header off a corner kick early in the second half and Kureishy notched her second goal of the game to cap the scoring.
All six of Linsly's goals were assited. Snyder had two assists as did Leah Memmo. Jordan Burkle and Brunner also recorded helpers.
"I think five out of their six goals were us being out of position," Stoner said. "We're learning though. We're always going to battle and play the entire 80 minutes. We have a really skilled team, but it's a matter of getting them going as a unit rather than as individuals."
St. Clairsville had just five shots and Linsly keeper Vivian Allison turned away the two shots that were on net.
Linsly, which hasn't lost to an OVAC member opponent all season, heads on the road Thursday to face Cambridge.
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