Hurricane girls blank Sissonville, stay unbeaten
Hurricane doesn't lack confidence, so the Redskins weren't too worried after a scoreless opening half.
Three different players scored in the second half for Hurricane as it dominated host Sissonville 3-0 Tuesday evening. A crowd of about 200 attended the girls high school soccer matchup at Joe Sawyers Field.
Brittany Minor opened the scoring for Hurricane, taking a pass and dribbling inside the penalty-box area for an uncontested shot and a 1-0 lead with 18:07 left in the second half.
Audrey Barber scored off an assist from Abby Watson with 14:28 to go and Watson chipped in an unassisted goal at the 7:52 mark to finish off the victory.
"I think we all realized we all know what to do to beat this team,'' said Watson of her team's second-half surge. "[Sissonville has] three in the back and we have two up front and just playing the splits.
"We're playing really good together. We've got really good chemistry on and off the field. We've just been coming out ready to play.''
The Redskins (4-0) lost three starters from last year's team and moved sophomore Hannah Thompson into the net, but hasn't missed a beat. Callie McClanahan, last year's starting goalie, now plays in the field.
"So far she's impressing us,'' Watson said of Thompson, who didn't face a shot on goal Tuesday. "Callie's helping us a lot on the field. We're doing what we're supposed to do. We know what everyone expects of us, nothing less than states.''
Hurricane, which has surrendered just one goal this season, kept Sissonville senior Lydia Murray - who netted her 100th career goal recently - in check.
"We were frustrated in the first half that we weren't getting our chances,'' said Hurricane assistant coach Rob Downey, who was filling in for head coach Shelly Young, who was out of town. "Anytime you get that first goal it takes the wind a little bit out of the other team and breaks their will. After that we pressured them well.
"We're getting a good start to the season. This is really the first tough team we've played. It's a confident bunch. You keep winning games and you think you're going to win them all. We know we have a strong club. We've got to develop a rotation in our substituting the midfielders. We're bringing in some of the younger players.''
Sissonville (4-1) had two starters go down with injuries in the second half. Seniors Shelby Swiney, an all-state defender last year, sat out several minutes with an ankle injury and Amber Jordan didn't return after hurting her knee and went for X-rays after the game.
"We have work to do,'' said Indians coach Ali Sadeghian, who lost six starters from last year's team that fell in the AA-A state finals. "We just don't have the depth we used to. That was the difference in the second half.
"[Hurricane] held possession of the ball and [we had] a couple of defensive mistakes. We can correct them, though. It's early for us. That's why you play these games, to find any weaknesses. It was a good lesson. Hopefully as the season goes along we can move some other girls up and they can help us down the road.''
Sissonville freshman keeper Brook Reed made two stops.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.