Red Riders blanked by Cadets
WEIRTON – Jessica Naughton and Erica Hall are very familiar with each other, though the two friends and former teammates weren’t entirely sure what to expect Monday night on the pitch.
In the end, the Linsly girls controlled the ball for a good bit of the game and defeated Weir, 2-0, on a chilly night at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
“We went to high school together (at Brooke),” Naughton, Weir’s head coach said. “We played soccer and basketball together. Erica was one year older than me. It is nice to play against her. It is nice to see her and to catch up on old times. It is nice to see her doing well coaching soccer.”
The Cadets (10-5-1) did not see the Red Riders (12-6) play this season prior to their match Monday night.
“I haven’t seen them play,” said Hall, Linsly’s head coach. “I was not certain what they would do. I have known Jess for many years. We were teammates at Brooke. She is a good coach, and I knew she would have her team ready.”
Grace George and Josie Mosman each netted goals for the Cadets.
“I know they are a good team,” Naughton said. “They play tough just like Brooke and just like Park. They are strong with the ball. They work the ball around.
“We knew No. 10 (Maleha Kureishy) was their go-to girl. We wanted to limit her chances, and we were able to do that. Stephanie Pennachio did a good job.
“We weren’t tight enough on No. 2 (Mosman). (Alyssa) Kelly jumped too soon on the shot. She was able to get a hand on it.”
“We play a control game of soccer,” Hall said. “It helped that our last four games have all been on turf. The girls were composed. They had fun. After the OVAC Tournament, our season is coming to an end. We played today, and we play our last game tomorrow.
“The pressure is gone. I told the girls to relax and have fun. They did that tonight.
“They played well. They did a great job of containing Weir’s offense. It was a good game by both teams.”
The Cadets outshot the Red Riders, 14-2. The Cadets took 11 shots on goal, while the Red Riders took two.
Linsly’s offensive pressure forced Weir into taking 13 goal kicks. The Cadets took three, all of which came in the first half of play. Linsly took nine corner kicks in the game, while Weir did not take any.
“They always do control the ball,” Naughton said. “That is an ongoing thing with them. They pass the ball well. They pass it to the outside. Then, they pass it from the outside back to the inside. They are strong on the ball. They do a very-good job.”
Kelly made nine saves for the Red Riders in goal.
“After the second goal, they did not have many chances after that,” Naughton said. “We also did not have many chances. We could not get any offensive flow going with Fran (Francesca Farran) and (Francesca) Rock. We need to get more offense. We need to do more on that end of the field.”
Vivian Allison made two saves for the Cadets.
George scored her goal with 23:30 left to play in the first half. Leah Memmo assisted on the goal.
Mosman netted a long-range goal in the second half. Mosman’s shot bounced off Kelly’s hand and into the side of the net putting Linsly ahead, 2-0, with 18:05 left to play in the game. The goal was unassisted.
The Cadets’ victory snapped the Red Riders’ nine-game winning streak.
Linsly will play its final game of the season at 5 p.m. today at home against Tyler Consolidated. It will be Senior Night for the Cadets.
Weir’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at rival Brooke.
The Bruins defeated the Red Riders 7-1, early in the season in a game played Sept. 5 at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
Weir will close out the regular season by playing against Hancock County rival Oak Glen at 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at home.
“We play them twice,” Naughton said. “We play them right before sectionals start.”