Weir pulls away from Central

CHASING — Weir’s Julia Gianni and Catholic Central’s Karly Bolger try to track down the ball in the first half of Monday’s soccer match at Jimmy Carey Stadium (Photo by Andrew Grimm).

WEIRTON — The Weir girls soccer team was in control from start to finish Monday night at Jimmy Carey Stadium, using a dominant six-goal first half to pull away and cruise to a 9-0 victory over Steubenville Catholic Central, led by two goals and three assists from Julia Gianni.

“We moved ball around, we spread the field out, and we finished our chances,” Weir head coach Jeremy Angelo said. “When we had opportunities, we put them away. The girls really played hard today. They were talking to one another, and everything was kind of going our way.”

Weir (6-4) also got a pair of goals from Alexis Adams as well as a goal and an assist each from Paulayna Zias and Bella Aperfine.

Aperfine opened up the scoring early for Weir, rolling the ball just out of the reach of Crusaders (2-7) goalkeeper Bri DeChristopher (16 saves) from in close in the third minute.

Something Weir executed to perfection several times was a long stretch pass that got a Red Rider behind the Catholic Central defense, and that is how Gianni got her first in the 13th minute for a 2-0 Weir lead.

“When you spread it out a little bit, it opens up a lot of lanes,” Angelo said. “We played the ball in between their defenders, and we had people running in behind. If you do that for a good 30-35 minutes they start getting tired. We kept doing that through the second half, and our legs were a little stronger than theirs.”

Gianni chipped her second of the game past DeChristopher in the 19th minute to make it a 3-0 game.

“Bella Aperfine had a lot to do with my two goals,” Gianni said. “It was a team effort. Alexis doesn’t usually play varsity and she got two goals, too. I’m really proud of her. We spread the field out and we got a lot of crosses, too. We finished on those.”

Zias buried a rebound attempt in close in the 31st minute for a 4-0 lead. Meghan Hawthorne connected in the 34th minute to make it a 5-0 advantage. Then in the 36th minute, Aperfine connected on the same long stretch pass play that set up Gianni’s first goal, getting behind the Catholic Central defenders to make it 6-0 and cap off a dominating first half.

Adams scored the next two for Weir, driving a clean shot past DeChristopher in the 51st minute, then firing in another out of a gaggle of bodies from off to the right of the goal to make it an 8-0 advantage in the 55th minute.

Rabeka Rowland capped the scoring in the 58th minute, connecting on a nice set up from Gianni to make it 9-0.

Despite losing 9-0, Catholic Central head coach Katrina Fabian saw improvement in her team and was happy with the way they continued to play hard despite being down big.

“As a team, I think we’re improving a lot within ourselves,” Fabian said. “It was a little rough to complete a lot of things. We were making a lot of great passes and a lot of great connections but just not finishing. We need to work on not being afraid to take shots.

“I told them that they’ve been doing a lot better job of not getting down on themselves and learning from their failures. The girls have a lot of character. They’re not just going to worry about the score being 9-0; they’re going to see what they can do better and keep working. They’re a great group of girls to coach because they do care, they really do.”

Weir travels to Brooke tonight, while Catholic Central plays at Edison Wednesday.