The 2021 schedule for the Woodrow Wilson girls soccer team has not been for the faint of heart.
Thursday night at Paul Cline Stadium, the Flying Eagles again faced a tough challenge when it welcomed Region 3 favorite George Washington (11-1-2) to town.
Coming off a solid win over Winfield Tuesday, Woodrow Wilson hoped to carry that momentum into the showdown with the Patriots.
Unfortunately for the home team, the Patriots constant pressure and injuries across the Flying Eagles back line were too much to overcome in a 10-0 setback.
“We played well, and it was a good effort,” George Washington head coach Ali Sadeghian said. “We came here today wanting to possess, pass, share the ball and use the width of the field. I am really proud of the girls. They did exactly what I asked them to do.”
The senior combination of Isabella Cinco and Lindsey Hackney gave George Washington the early lead and doubled the advantage midway through the first half.
Hackney found Cinco on a cross for the first goal in the fifth minute of contest before the combo went in reverse for Hackney’s goal in the 18th minute.
“My back trio is out tonight. One went down with a tail-bone, the other has a quad and one had a hip injury,” Woodrow Wilson head coach Julie Agnor said.
Just when it looked like Woodrow would get to the break down just two goals, the Patriots capitalized on a loose ball in the final minutes of the half.
A potential score was refuted by a sliding save from Woodrow keeper, Ally Athur only to see the ball deflect off a Woodrow player to a waiting Reese Huffman for George Washington.
With an open net, the freshman made good on the try for a 3-0 lead at halftime.
The Patriots came out of the break with some precision passing to push the lead to 4-0 in the first two minutes.
“I didn’t like some of the things that happened in the first half even though we had a good lead,” Sadeghian said. “We were not playing as well as I had anticipated. I gave them a little bit of a pep talk and explained to them what we needed to do and how we needed to go forward.”
Cinco gathered a through ball and attacked the goal drawing the keeper out of the net. A quick cross found fellow senior, Angelina Musilli with an open net for the easy score.
The senior forward would be a nightmare for the home team, especially early in the second half.
Musilli scored her second goal on a blast in the 47th minute before completing the second half hat trick four minutes later.
“They did a good job of being unselfish,” Sadeghian said. “They worried about the team first and that was a goal for us today. It was not our plan, the way it happened, but sometimes you are really play good.”
Ava Trethewey, Carter Smith, Cinco and Huffman also scored goals for the Patriots in the second half.
“I feel like we are there, it’s just that we have some injuries right now that affected the game. We started out with the injuries, but they really hit us in the second half,” Agnor said.
In the nightcap Thursday, the Woodrow Wilson boys soccer team welcomed Huntington (6-7). The Highlanders came to Beckley riding a three-game winning streak.
After struggling through some injuries of their own in recent weeks, the boys turned back the Highlanders, 4-0.
“We have had a tough stretch. We have been without three starting central midfielders for about five games. We got Hayden Johnson back and you can see what it does for us,” Woodrow Wilson head coach Steve Laraba said. “I was really happy because Huntington is a really good team.”
Carson Eckley got the Flying Eagles (5-4-3) on the board in the 14th minute. After his initial shot was stopped, Eckley blasted the ball just inside the far post when the defender could not clear the deflection.
Leading 1-0 at halftime, Woodrow Wilson then exploded for three goals in the final 40 minutes.
The lethal striking combination of Eckley and Johnson got Woodrow Wilson’s second half off to a solid start in the 55th minute.
A perfect through ball from Eckley was gathered by a streaking Johnson who drilled a shot inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.
“They have been playing together since they were seven or eight. They just know where each other is and they have a feel for where the other one is going to be,” Laraba explained. They work well together and both of them do a great job of incorporating everyone else as well.”
The boys in maroon sealed the deal with two scores in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Tyler Snyder scored on a blast before Connor Mollohan attacked the goal and made a nice cross to Jack Grimmett for the final score.
“I thought we were a little lethargic in the first half. Our energy got better in the second half, but I thought it was a very mature second half,” Laraba said. “We created chances and got the second goal. Then we didn’t stop and got the third and we created a nice team goal for the fourth one.”
Both girls and boys teams will be back in action Tuesday at Paul Cline Stadium. The girls will host Capital at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys hosting three-time defending Class AAA state champion George Washington at 7:30 p.m.