WEIRTON - The Francesca Show drew rave reviews from the crowd.
Junior forward Francesca Rock recorded four goals, while freshman forward Francesca Farran finished with a goal and two assists to lead the Weir girls' soccer team to a 6-0 victory against rival Oak Glen in a West Virginia Class AA/A Region I, Section I semifinal on a cold Thursday night at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
"It was a great night," Weir (14-7) coach Jessica Naughton said. "Last week when we played them it was 0-0 at halftime. We had about 10 shots, but we couldn't score.
"This week, we worked all week on getting people up by the goal. We worked on getting goals and getting shots on frame. We wanted to get people by the goal.
"Francesca Rock and Francesca Farran were unbelievable. They were clicking. They played really well."
With the semifinal victory under its belt, Weir will play city-rival Madonna in the sectional final at 2 p.m. as part of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Multi Sport Complex at Oak Glen. The boys' sectional final between Tyler Consolidated and Oak Glen will be played at 4 p.m.
The Red Riders claimed the city championship by defeating the Blue Dons, 6-3, earlier in the season in a game played at Madonna.
The Red Riders shut out the Golden Bears, 3-0, last Thursday night in a game that was also played at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
In that game, Weir recorded two-quick goals in the second half en route to the victory. Farran netted both of the early goals.
This time, the Red Riders struck twice early in the first half.
"We got down quick, and it is hard to come back in this cold weather," Oak Glen (6-12-2) coach Sam Paletta said. "I asked the girls at halftime, 'What is 6 inches?'
"(It) was the difference between s being down 3-2 or being down 3-0. We had one shot go just to the outside of the post, and we had another shot that hit the post. If we could have scored those two goals, you don't know what could have happened. The ball just didn't bounce our way."
Rock contributed two goals in less than eight minutes to get the Red Riders off to a fast start. Farran assisted on both goals.
The Red Riders recorded three goals in each half en route to the victory over their Hancock County rival. Despite the deficit the Golden Bears continued to battle until the final whistle was blown.
"There is no quit in the girls," Paletta said. "Even in the locker room at halftime they were talking about what we needed to do and what adjustments we needed to make to be able to come back.
"There is no quit in them. They are all heart."
Also for Weir, junior sweeper Mikayla Zias scored a goal on a corner kick, while senior midfielder Alyssa Single, who is one of the Red Riders' co-captains along with fellow midfielder Morgan Cassels, dished out two assists
"It was nice to see the improvement," Naughton said. "We played much better in the first half. It was nice to see the improvement from everybody.
"Rock and Francesca did a good job up top. Alyssa Shingle and Morgan Cassels did a good job in the midfield. Beth Hawthorne and Mikayla Zias did a good job in the back. They did not give them too many chances.
"I was very happy with our first half."
The Red Riders outshot the Golden Bears, 29-4. Weir took 21 shots on goal, while Oak Glen took three.
"There is a reason Weir is No. 1 in our section," Paletta said. "They are very good. They are well coached. Jess does a good job."
Rock scored all three of the Red Riders' goals in the first half.
Rock's first goal gave the Red Riders a 1-0 lead with 37:22 left to play before halftime. Rock's second tally of the night gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage with 32:47 showing on the scoreboard clock. Rock collected her first-half hat trick with a goal with just 1:30 remaining to be played in the half.