ST. CLAIRSVILLE - There are tough openers and then there's what the St. Clairsville girls' soccer team encountered Tuesday evening.
The Red Devils - who debuted basically an entirely new lineup from last season - were handed a decisive, 7-0, setback at the hands of debuting Linsly at Red Devils Stadium.
"Linsly is a great team with a ton of skill," St. Clairsville head coach Wes Stoner said. "They have a lot of foot skill and experience, too. We don't have that experience right now, but we got better during the course of the game and you could see it."
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Rylee Wissman works the ball into the offensive end as Linsly’s Abby Petho defends during Tuesday’s game at Red Devil Stadium in St. Clairsville. Linsly posted a 7-0 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
Unfortunately for Stoner and the Red Devils, the damage was done early.
The victory is the first of the coaching career of Linsly's Chelsea Miazgowicz, who was hired to replace Erica Hall.
"These girls are awesome and it's been super exciting to be able to work with them," Miazgowicz said. "This is a great way for them to start off the season. It's such a great group of girls and I am just thankful to be able to work with them to help them reach their goals."
Linsly raced out to a 6-0 lead in the first half. Half of those goals came off the foot of junior Kaitlin Snyder's foot.
She tallied the first two goals of the contest within the first five minutes. She scored two minutes in and then recorded a second goal with 35:16 to go in the first half.
"We were trying to work the ball into the corners, get some crosses in and work on those set plays," Miazgowicz said. "I think we had a goal off of a corner (kick) and a free kick. That's what we've been working on in practices, so it was really positive to see those goals happen."
Junior Brooke Miller got it the scoring act with 27:30 to go in the first half off an assist from Snyder. Linsly struck again with 12 minutes to go and then with 10:03 to go before the half, Snyder completed the hat trick.
"Kaitlin is a really hard worker and a great person to be at forward to take those shots and opportunities," Miazgowicz said.
Junior Jordan Burkle made it 6-0 just before the half when she tallied with two seconds showing on the clock.
Morgan Brunner scored the only goal of the second half when she looped a shot over the head of the St. C. keeper with just under 24 minutes to go.
St. Clairsville, meanwhile, just couldn't create many offensive opportunities for itself. Basically, the entire game was played in the Cadets' offensive end of the field.
"That starts with some defensive lapses, but we just don't have that mesh yet that you need," Stoner said. "It's not gelling together from the back to the front. We had some great plays here and there, but then a bad touch loses us the ball and we're back in their end."
The Red Devils (0-1) are off until Monday when they make a trip to Steubenville Central. Linsly has a weekend trip ahead to meet Huntington St. Joe's on Friday and Charleston Catholic on Saturday.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org