West Holmes Girls Soccer

Lady Knights win third straight in downing Triway and Philo

Lady Knights take a fancy to passing in devouring Triway and Philo

Winning streaks have not been a common thing for the West Holmes Lady Knights soccer team this season. But lately Schuyler Jones’ team has been coming on, and West Holmes has put together a little three-game winning run that recently saw them take down Triway and Philo.

On Saturday, Sept. 29 at West Holmes High School, the Lady Knights dominated from start to finish in a 4-1 victory over the Titans.

West Holmes obliterated the goal throughout the first 37 minutes, yet it had nothing to show for it as Triway keeper Amber Bickel turned away shot after shot by West Holmes.

“We were curious how they were staying in a lot of their games and being competitive against some good competition, and we found out why today,” Jones said, referring to Bickel’s play. “She’s the real deal back there, and she definitely kept them in the game because we were getting a lot of really good looks. She stepped up and led them, even in times when they struggled.”

The Lady Knights were able to find the net once during that stretch when Taylor Dye drove one by a diving Bickel for a goal at 13:37 in the first half. However, the Titans would respond for the equalizer as Makenna Sigler scored off a rebound of a stop by West Holmes keeper Elyssa Sutton at the 11:11 mark.

After getting off a number of really good shots but coming up empty, high-scoring Kerri Wagner finally got one to slip past Bickel and into the back of the net with 2:40 left to play in the half. This gave the Lady Knights the lead at 2-1.

The shots kept coming with ferocity in the second half for West Holmes, and Bickel continued to turn them away, but with volume it becomes extremely difficult to stop them all, and West Holmes pushed the lead to 3-1. Mariah Miller drove a bullet into the face of the net off a corner, and Triway knocked in an own goal.

Finally with about 15 minutes left to play, Maddie DeWitt struck a long ball down the middle of the field and led Wagner, who took one touch to get by a defender. Then with Bickel charging hard, she lightly touched it around the diving keeper for her second goal and the final tally of the game.

The one aspect of the game that made Jones smile was the way her team moved the ball to feet, and the passing game was a thing of beauty for the Lady Knights.

“That was exactly what we needed,” Jones said. “We had been working all week on passing to feet on the ground. We have been passing too much in the air, so we worked hard on making good, aggressive passes on the ground, and it paid off. Simple soccer is the way to go, and I think it finally clicked for them. I was happy that they could see that, and I promised them that all of my harping on that would pay off, and it did today.”

Jones said the frustration mounted throughout the first half when the many shots resulted in just two goals. However, she remained stoic and unfazed on the sideline, knowing that teams can feed off of their coach’s reactions.

Jones said her team could have done a better job of breaking Bickel down at times and said that in the future that would be something to see her team improve.

“It was frustrating, and I know the girls were frustrated too, so if we can get that scoring going earlier, we don’t have to experience that frustration, although I really thought we did a good job of fighting through that frustration and staying focused on what we needed to do to get a win,” Jones said.

Several of the girls from both teams actually play club soccer together. Jones said this made for a good, friendly match with a hint of rivalry, and getting a second straight win made for a fun celebration for her team.

Two days later the Lady Knights were able to extend their winning streak to three games when they outdueled Philo to a 3-2 road victory. West Holmes was dominant at times, outshooting the Electrics 19-10. Scoring for the Knights were Maddie DeWitt, Mariah Miller and Taylor Dye. Kerri Wagner and DeWitt both had assists. Sutton collected nine saves, and Jones praised her defense for a stellar effort.

“Kaylin Martin, Dani Roll, Katrina Rolince and Mariah Miller all protected well,” Jones said.

The three straight victories move the Lady Knights to 6-8 on the season as they continue to peak at the end of the regular season.

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