At times during West Holmes’ 11-0 victory over Morgan in the Div. II Philo Sectional soccer opener Oct. 16, it appeared as though Morgan was letting Lady Knights goals in four or five at a time.
Scoring came early and often for West Holmes, which took advantage of its superior athleticism to roll over Morgan and advance to the Sectional final Oct. 20 where they will take on number three seeded Tri-Valley for the right to move on to District play.
While it might seem like it would be fun to rack up 11 goals, 10 of which came in the first half, but as is the case in any huge blowout, it’s not a ball for either team, and West Holmes coach Josh Wengerd was just hoping to get through the game without any injuries after the game got out of hand.
“It’s not fun in a game like that, it wasn’t fun at all,” said Wengerd of the massacre. “We have never been in a game that lopsided. We kind of expected that kind of a game coming in, and we hoped we were going to get to play our subs for the second half.”
Wengerd got his wish — kind of.
It didn’t take long for the scoring barrage to begin for West Holmes. Just 29 seconds into the game, Meredith Snow would get the show started off of an assist by Abby Callahan.
Seven minutes later Alex Brown scored on an unassisted blast from 35 yards out to stake the Lady Knights to a 2-0 lead.
Following that goal, during what for this game would constitute a scoring drought for West Holmes, the score remained as it was for a whole nine minutes until there was 23:52 left. Mallory Wahl, assisted again by Callahan, made it 3-0.
Three minutes later it was Alex Starr scoring on an unassisted goal, and Callahan scored one herself off of a direct free kick, about 25 yards out, to make it 5-0.
Elise Neville made it 6-0 at the 13 minute mark, and then with just over seven minutes, to continue the Noah theme, the floodgates were opened and the goals gushed forth.
At the 7:23 mark Wahl scored, assisted by Starr. At 5:50 it was Callahan, with an assist from Neville. There was 4:40 to play when Callahan popped in her second score, with an assist by Kennedy Smith. With 1:13 left in the half, Shelbee Shaffer got into the act, scoring with an assist by Callahan, Shaffer connecting off a header from a corner kick (She now has the ice cream hat trick, scoring her third header of the year to win the team a trip for ice cream).
For Callahan, she recorded a double hat trick, getting three goals and three assists, a real rarity.
“You’re not going to see that too often,” said Wengerd.
It was good that halftime rolled around, because the Lady Knights were getting tired from celebrating all of those goals.
And while Wengerd got his subs into the game, because his starters were so efficient, it left little room for them to try to do their best to score, so they ended up doing a great deal of passing the ball around so they didn’t run up the score.
“We didn’t want to run the score up, but we didn’t just want our bench kids out there just passing it around and not trying,” said Wengerd. “I told them they could score two. We left the middle of our field in, but it was pretty obvious we were trying to not score, and that kind of fired Morgan up a bit and they got frustrated. It’s a tough situation that is a no win situation.”
Wengerd got to substitute plenty in the second half, giving his reserves plenty of action, and the only scoring of the half came off the foot of Rebekah Brannon, who was assisted by Page Hershberger.
West Holmes outshot Morgan 27-2, and amazingly only two corners were taken by either team in the game, both for West Holmes.
In a game that lopsided, it is now up to Wengerd to push aside the easy win and return the attention to getting better and staying sharp as they head for their showdown with Tri-Valley. He did that by putting together an extremely tough week of practice to keep everyone sharp.
He knows that from here on out they will have to be at their best, because there won’t be any 11 goal games to fall back on.