Edison girls clicking on all cylinders

RICHMOND — Things are starting to click for the Edison girls soccer team on the offensive end.

Junior standout Lauren Ferralli finished with a hat trick and an assist to lead the way offensively for the Wildcats as Edison netted three goals in each half en route to a 6-2 victory over rival Catholic Central Wednesday evening.

“We came out strong,” Edison (2-4) head coach Jordan Byrley said. “We connected. We connected on our passes. We finished and followed up.”

After trailing 3-0 at halftime, the Crusaders came out and played a stronger second half.

“We kept up with them,” Catholic Central (2-8) head coach Katrina Fabian said.

Ferralli tallied two goals and an assist in the first half before completing her hat trick in the second half.

“We are getting better,” Ferralli said. “I try to assist the team by passing the ball. We want to build up through the midfield.”

Maddie Brenstuhl, Christian Guess and Alexa Irvine all collected a goal for the Wildcats. Sami Springer and Irvine each produced a pair of assists, while Mackenize Reynolds recorded one. Emma Scott made nine saves in goal.

“We have been focused a lot on our offense at practice,” Byrley said. “We are finally seeing that put to good use.”

Alie Zapolnik and Christine Dombrowski each collected a goal for Catholic Central. Zapolnik scored off of a rebound from Liz Bolster’s shot, while Dombrowski scored off of an assist by Ali Grimm. Bri DeChristopher made 12 saves in goal for the Crusaders.

“The girls did their best,” Fabian said. “They kept fighting. We are going to keep improving and moving forward.”

Catholic Central scored first in the second half to get back into the game, but the Wildcats tallied the final two goals to pull away.

“They came out hard,” Byrley said about Catholic Central. “It is always a good battle when we play them.”

The Wildcats have been working on their shooting, and that work paid off against the Crusaders.

“We have been working on accuracy on our shots,” Edison assistant coach Kim Judy said. “We want to have shots go to the far post and to be low.”

Ferralli took aim at the far post multiple times throughout. While Ferralli was able to score by using that strategy, she also had multiple shots roll just wide of the goal.

“I aimed for the far post,” Ferralli said. “We have been working a lot on that.”

Ferralli opened the scoring a few minutes in to give the momentum to the Wildcats. Edison scored three goals in a little more than 21 minutes of play to start the first half.

Ferralli also scored the second goal of the game for Edison, and she assisted on Brenstuhl’s goal when she sent a corner kick into the box to Brenstuhl, who was able to knock the ball into the back of the net giving the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.

Zapolnik opened the scoring in the second half with 34:25 left to give the Crusaders life.

Catholic Central had the momentum, but Ferralli was able to answer with her third goal to give her team a 4-1 lead to return the momentum to Edison.

The Crusaders pulled to within 4-2 on the goal by Dombrowski, but Guess and Irvine scored, enabling Edison to pull away.

“I played with their coach in college,” Fabian said. “She was a great player, and I expected her to have her team ready to play.”

The Wildcats have now won two out of their last three games.

“We started off well,” Ferralli said. “We won all of our scrimmages but one. We got off to a rough start to the season, but I think things are now starting to click.”

Last season, Byrley served as an assistant coach at her alma mater under head coach Jeremy Angelo, who is now the head coach at Weir. Judy also played for Angelo.

“It has been a smooth transition for the girls,” Byrley said. “There hasn’t been a lot of change. I was fortunate to work with them last year, so I got to know their strengths and their weaknesses. I have been able to incorporate that information this year. It helps that I already the knew the girls.”

Edison has made some changes on the field recently leading to the team having success.

“We have played around with different formations and who we have out on the field,” Judy said.

Though some changes have been made, Ferralli remains a constant for the Wildcats.

“She’s important,” Byrley said. “We have high expectations for her. We expect to get even more out of her. She helps the other girls. She lets them know what is going on.”

Both teams are scheduled to play again Saturday at home. Catholic Central is slated to play at 11 a.m. against Magnolia at the Tony Recinella Soccer Field, while Edison will play Big Red in a makeup game at 1 p.m. in the second game of a boys and girls doubleheader. The Edison boys play Sandy Valley at 11 a.m.