Talented scorer Ali Gilt has been waiting for a breakout game for the West Holmes Lady Knights soccer team this season.
West Holmes was in search of its first Ohio Cardinal Conference victory of the season.
West Holmes got both on the same night, and the hope is that a big outburst on offense will propel the team to new heights this season.
The West Holmes Lady Knights took it upon themselves to host the Mt. Vernon Yellow Jackets Thursday, Sept. 29 at West Holmes High School, and on youth night, the Lady Knights showed the youngsters how it was done, destroying Mt. Vernon 7-2 in front of the youthful home crowd.
While the score may seem like it would have been a blowout, that was not necessarily the case.
While the Lady Knights went nuts in the scoring column, it didn’t happen immediately, and Mt. Vernon actually took an early 1-0 lead then made it stand up… for a while.
“It was a rocky start,” said West Holmes coach Brooke Mowrer. “We really didn’t do anything right. We had a lot of chances, but we just didn’t capitalize on them, and then they had one of those plays that you go, ‘What just happened?’ It just rolled into the back of the net.”
That was 20 minutes into the game, and it seemed to jump-start West Holmes, which scored three straight goals before Mt. Vernon knocked one in before the half to make it 3-2.
In the second half, it became Ali Gilt time as the senior went crazy.
“Ali kind of unleashed herself in the second half, which was nice to see,” Mowrer said. “We’ve been waiting for that.”
Gilt pounded in three more goals in addition to the one she produced in the first half, and Mt. Vernon had no answer for her.
Overall, the Lady Knight’s had an exciting night filled with ample scoring opportunities, and put those chances to good use in tallying a season-high seven goals.
Gilt led the Knight’s with four goals, including one off of a header, while Whitney Miller added a pair of goals and Natalie Parsons tacked on the seventh. Taylor Dye and Gilt both tallied assists as well as the Lady Knight’s fired off a whopping 30 shots, while limiting Mount Vernon to just seven. In net, West Holmes keeper Savannah Rogers racked up five saves between the posts.
Mowrer said Rogers has been incredible in the net, and especially in the Ashland game where she was inundated with shot after shot and turned them away.
‘She has been fantastic,” said Mowrer of her keeper. “Some of the saves she had against Ashland were incredible. She got peppered with shots at the end, and you could kind of sense that they were going to get one. She has been incredible, and so has Katy Vaccariello. We have just played some really good teams before this one.”
While West Holmes lost to Ashland 1-0, and destroyed Mt. Vernon, Mowrer said that she felt her team actually played a better game in the loss to the Arrows.
“Ashland is a much better team and we were up for the game,” said Mowrer. “I thought we played phenomenally in that game. I told the girls at halftime (of the Mt. Vernon game) ‘it stinks, because we had a really good team come here and we played really good, then we had a mediocre team come in and we played really bad.’”
With four road games on the docket now, West Holmes must hope to carry the momentum they gained in the win away from its home turf.
Mowrer said that she believes she has found the players for the respective positions on the field that she wants, now the team simply needs to gain some consistency that should equal some more victories as the team heads into the latter part of the regular season.
Considering it was youth night, the outpouring of goals was a great way to gather excitement for the program.
With the win, West Holmes improved its overall record to 3-6-2 on the campaign, and moved to 1-4-1 in league play, while Mt. Vernon fell to 1-10-1 overall and 1-5 in the OCC.