Wheeling Central Downs Madonna in Girls Soccer
Wayt secures hat trick for Knights
WELLSBURG — When the rain slowed down, Wheeling Central’s girls soccer team sped up in a big way.
The Maroon Knights scored five second-half goals to defeat Madonna 6-2, Friday evening at Brooke Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a rough way to start,” Madonna coach Bob Kolanko said. “Against our fierce rival Wheeling Central, it’s tough. We’re very young.
“They were able to be more aggressive (after the rain stopped). They have a lot of speed on that team, and that is what Wheeling Central is known for. Once the rain stopped and they got their footing, they were able to be in control.”
After the game was tied 1-1 at halftime, Wheeling Central seniors Kenadee Wayt and Addyson Thomas scored goals 1:21 apart early in the second half to give the Maroon Knights control.
“It’s kind of a building year for us,” Wheeling Central coach Julie Barack said.
“We lost five starters and have girls that have never played soccer before. We built as we went in the game and, hopefully, that’s how we do it for the season, too.
“Getting those two goals were huge. I can’t emphasize that enough.”
Both teams played through a moderate rain in the opening 40 minutes, but it stopped by the time the second half began.
“The rain stopping helped,” Barack said. “That might have been part of the problem for both teams in the first half. The ball was slick. It made a huge difference.”
Wayt, who opened the scoring less than five minutes in, struck again with less than 27 minutes to play, finishing the game with three goals and an assist.
“We held our own in the first half,” Kalanko said. “In the second half, we lost our shape and kind of lost focus (on defense). They exploited any mistakes that we made. Hats off to them for finding our mistakes and taking it to us.
“We lost the middle of the field.
“They possessed the ball better than we did, and that’s what the game came down to.”
Madonna junior Kali Krynicki connected on a pass from MaKayla Virden — Madonna’s first half goal scorer — to get back within two with just under 20 to go.
Sydney Mansuetto and Maggie Fahey added goals for Wheeling Central late for the 6-2 final margin of victory.
“It’s a tough opponent to start the season with, but they lost about as many girls as we did (from last year),” Kolanko said. “We should have been more competitive with them. We were just a little off of our game. We’ll see them again.”
The Blue Dons are back in action today, hosting North Marion at Brooke with a noon start time.
Wheeling Central has its first home game on Tuesday, facing Weir.
∫ The game was originally scheduled to be played at Madonna’s soccer field, but it, along with today’s game, was moved to Brooke to utilize the turf field due to the weather.
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