Girls’ Soccer: Patriots Hammer Monarchs, 6-0

WHEELING – With his team sitting at 3-3, Wheeling Park girls soccer coach Aubrey Taylor was not happy about the way things were going.

So he did something about it.

He changed the offense.

Mikia Mueller would certainly endorse the change.

Mueller recorded a hat trick (three goals) to lead the Patriots to a 6-0 victory against John Marshall Tuesday night at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The win was the fifth straight for surging Wheeling Park, and the turnaround goes hand-and-hand with the Taylor-made changes.

“I didn’t think we were getting the offense we needed, the number of goals we needed to win games,” Taylor said. “The system we are using now is offensively more friendly. We can play a little more freely, we can play without restrictions.

Since making the move one week ago, Park, has won five straight games and has scored 23 goals over that span.

Leading 1-0 at the half, Park opened up the floodgates in the second half, led by Mueller, a senior.

She scored two goals in the first 5:36, the first when she dribbled inside off a ball she retrieved on a ball that deflected off the crossbar of John Marshall’s net at the 37:03 mark and the second which she took a pass from teammate Briella Taylor.

She had scored the first goal of the game early when she headed in a center cross from teammate Carly Collins.

“It is a great accomplishment for her to score a hat trick,” Taylor said. “She really stepped up and did a dynamic job with her play. On the first she made a great run getting in offensive position, on the second she did a great job dribbling and setting up her shot and the third again, it was a great run to get into offensive position.”

By the time she was done, Park had all the ammo it needed, but it was hardly finished.

Collins got into the scoring act when she broke free behind the Monarchs defense to score and, not to be outdone, Taylor made a move to rid herself of a defender and took it nearly 60 yards to score an unassisted goal. Finally, with 1.8 seconds left, Cierra Yantz scored a goal.

“I think our girls were a little tired,” John Marshall coach Ashley Vivirito said. “We played a really good game with St. Clairsville last night. Park has an outstanding team. They really control the ball well and they are well-coached. You can tell that by watching them play.”

John Marshall (2-9-1) never really had a chance, with Park (8-3-0) controlling the ball on the Monarchs side of the field most of the game.

They did have one good cross in front of the net late in the first half but it sailed a bit to high for the Monarch’s to cash it in.

“I think the girls are understanding exactly what we are trying to do now,” Taylor said. “They have stepped it up since we made our offensive switch.”