St. C. girls cruise to second win

• Malin’s hat trick sparks Red Devils to 8-0 victory

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Thirteen goals, five assists, zero goals allowed and a spotless 2-0 record.

That the line of statistics that St. Clairsville has produced through the first 180 minutes of soccer this season.

If there was any question as to if coach Wes Stoner’s club could find a way to fill in the monstrous offensive hole left by the departed Alyssa Otto, the answer thus far is a resounding yes.

Macy Malin erupted for four goals–her second straight hat trick–and an assist as the Lady Red Devils ran through visiting East Liverpool (0-1) by an 8-0 tally during Monday’s match on the pitch at Red Devils Stadium.

“It’s great, absolutely great,” Stoner said. “You don’t replace a player like (Otto) but we’re going to have to dop it by squad and we’ve done that so far. That’s six or seven girls that have scored rather than just one or two and that’s great.”

Malin got the scoring started with 37:23 showing in the first half. Ariel Ott gave a quick dumpoff pass off a corner kick to Malin who dribbled in from the right side and lofted a shot with her left foot over the hands of the Potters’ Alessandra Ferrazzano for a 1-0 reading.

That started the offensive barrage that saw the home club fire 29 shots at Ferrazzano.

East Liverpool’s keeper gave a spirited effort, stopping 17 shots, including a couple of rockets from close range. But despite her best effots, the Devils kept up the pressure.

Malin returned the favor, assisting Ott on the next goal at 22:10 and then just before the half, Malin struck again. This time, fellow junior Mikayla Hendershot lofted a near perfect lengthy pass that Malin chased down and booted past Ferrazzano.

Malin added two more in the second half, giving her seven for the season to go with two assists.

“She’s phenomenal,” Stoner said. “She does literally anything and everything we ask of her. She can create her own goals and she can create goals for other people. She defends well and is a great all-around player.”

She’s not alone.

Emily Vera, Emily Thompson and Gianna Nardo all found the back of the next in the second half.

Despite the offensive output, it was the aggressive style of play and a solid back four that kept the ball in the Potters’ end of the field and the offensive opportunities flowing for St.C.

The visitors never managed to get any consistent runs at Devils’ keeper Jaeda Nowak. She turned aside a couple fleeting shots in an otherwise calm night–her second shutout in a row.

St. Clairsville was relentless with its challenges and made a habit of winning most 50-50 balls.

“That’s part of our philosophy,” Stoner said. “That’s what I demand out of them in practice and in games. Soccer is a physical sport and that’s the way I coach it and have them play it. It’s obviously not dirty, but just physical.

“Were shoulder to shoulder and we try to be the strongest team out there. So far, we’ve done pretty well at that.”

A perfect example of that philosophy in action is Nardo, a freshman outside backer who has a penchant for hard challenges and stopping potential scoring opportunities before they get started.

“She’ll stick her nose in just about anywhere,” Stoner said. ” He older sister just graduated and she played the same way. Gianna is athletic, fast and aggressive and she’s going to be a good one.”

St. Clairville will look to improve to 3-0 Thursday when it hits the road to take on Cambridge.