Riders top Blue Dons to claim trophy

WEIRTON – Senior Alyssa Shingle scored two second-half goals and freshman Francesca Farran got another (her third of the game) as the Lady Red Rider soccer team continued its dominance in the annual City Championship contests with Madonna.

The Lady Riders (2-2) held a 3-2 lead at the half, but Madonna’s Alayna Macaluso scored a goal to tie the game at the 46-minute mark.

However, that would be the last score by the Lady Blue Dons, who could not respond to the three Weir High goals during the remainder of the second half.

Shingle’s first goal was unassisted at 57 minutes and proved to be the game-winner. She followed four minutes later with the second on a rebound shot. Madonna keeper Tessie Tokash had made a nifty save on a shot by Farran, but the ball caromed right to Shingle for the goal.

“This was a nice win, especially for the seniors who have been here four years,” said Lady Red Rider coach, Jessica Naughton. “They know the deal. Francesca Farran and Alyssa Shingle stepped up tonight, but it was an overall team effort and I was very pleased with that.”

Farran scored three goals. She opened the scoring with 18 minutes gone in the game on an assist from Shingle, but the Lady Blue Dons matched it five minutes later when Lizzy Conforti caught the deflection from Weir High keeper Alyssa Kelly of a shot from Rachel Grubbs.

Eight minutes later, Morgan Cassells got an unassisted goal for Weir High and Farran got another four minutes later. It also was unassisted and gave the Lady Riders a 3-1 lead.

Madonna (4-2) came roaring back as Grubbs made an outstanding move to get the ball past Kelly just before halftime. Grubbs was assisted on the goal by her sister, Leann.

Then Macaluso tied it at 3-3 on a goal assisted by Rachael Grubbs to give the Lady Blue Dons some momentum.

But the veteran Shingle, who has been a Red Rider starter the past four years, took matters into her own hands from there.

“I give a lot of credit to Jessica (Naughton) for having her girls ready,” said veteran Madonna coach, Bob Kolanko. “They came out and hustled for every ball. When we had the 50/50 balls, they probably won 80 percent of them and you’re not going to win many soccer games winning 20 percent of those.

“I just don’t think we played our best soccer game tonight. We had our opportunities especially when we got a penalty kick early in the game that went over the top of the goal. That could have made a big difference, but I think Weir High played very well. They didn’t make very many mistakes.”

Kelly finished with four saves while Tokash stopped 11 of Weir High’s 17 shots on goal.

The Lady Riders return to action Thursday hosting Brooke, Naughton’s alma mater, while the Lady Blue Dons host Indian Creek Thursday.