Kovalcik’s five goals sparks Oak Glen’s seven-goal victory over the Wildcats

RICHMOND — Lauren Ferralli tallied a hat trick less than 20 minutes into the game to give the Edison girls’ soccer team a two-goal lead. Oak Glen, however, netted nine unanswered goals to rally for a 10-3 victory Wednesday night on the road.

“It was a good night,” Oak Glen (9-2-1) head coach Ryan Wells said. “We came off a game Monday against Weir, and this game is sandwiched between games against our two county rivals. Edison is fighting for their OVAC life. They wreaked havoc in the first half. In the second half, we settled down, we made better passes, we started playing our style and things went our way.”

The Wildcats led by two goals on two occasions in the first half.

“We had a good start,” Edison (3-6) head coach Jordan Byrley said. “We came out strong. The girls played like they wanted to be here.”

Ferralli tallied her third goal with 20:52 remaining before halftime, but the rest of the game belonged to Oak Glen.

Maggie Kovalcik collected five goals to lead the way offensively, while Natalie Szyprka scored two. Reese Enochs, Cristal Tetrault and Brooklyn Loveland all netted one goal.

“Having Maggie’s speed helps,” Wells said. “You cannot coach it. You can improve it, but you can’t coach it.”

Kennedy Graves recorded two assists, while Enochs ended up with one. Kaylee Travis made four saves in goal.

“They’ve got a lot of speed,” Byrley said. “I thought we worked well against them in the first half.”

Courtney Bube contributed two assists for the Wildcats, while Christian Guess collected one. Edison used two goalies. Abby Booth started in the net and made nine saves before being replaced by Emma Scott during the second half. Scott made three saves.

“In the first half, Edison beat us to the 50-50 balls,” Wells said. “They were more aggressive. We always show up to play, but it is the other team that makes you not play well.”

Ferralli opened the scoring with her first goal off of an assist by Bube, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with 28:10 left in the first half.

Ferralli found the back of the net for the second time off of another assist by Bube to increase Edison’s advantage to 2-0 with 24:53 remaining. Bube’s assist came off of a free kick.

Kovalcik contributed her first goal to cut Oak Glen’s deficit to 2-1 with 22:04 left, but Ferralli scored less than two minutes later off of an assist from Guess to make the score 3-1.

The Golden Bears scored the final three goals of the first half, and six more in the second half to pull away for the win.

“I don’t know what happened,” Byrley said. “I wish I knew. I don’t know. Our girls are easily encouraged when we score goals, but they are easily discouraged when are scored against us.”

Oak Glen is scheduled to play again at 6 p.m. today against Madonna at home.

“We have a big game (today),” Wells said. “We play a rival in a real good Madonna team. We finished this game on a high note. Our second team came in and gave us 15 minutes of good soccer. We were able to give our starters some rest going into (today).”

Edison’s next scheduled game is set for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 against Sandy Valley at home.

The game was the final one for the teams as the try to qualify for the annual OVAC Tournament. Oak Glen entered in second place in Class 4A, while Edison was fourth in the class right above Harrison Central.

St. Clairsville is the No. 1 seed in the class, while Big Red entered play Wednesday as the No. 3 seed.

The girls’ tournament is scheduled to get underway Tuesday with the No. 4 seeds playing at the No. 1 seeds.