FALLING ROCK, W.Va. -- As one of the team's only upperclassmen, it's often up to Mary Schmeck to lead the rest of Sissonville's girls soccer team by example.So when a 30-plus-yard shot off her foot found the upper-right corner of the goal to open up the scoring in the Indians' season opener Friday at Herbert Hoover, it didn't take long for one of her understudies to follow.Sophomore striker Madison Jones took Schmeck's lead and ran with it, pounding in the next three goals as Sissonville coasted to a 4-1 win.The Indians controlled possession throughout a majority or the match as evidenced by a 23-4 shot advantage and a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal."We wanted to come here, have a good start, fight for a 'W' and fortunately we got them," Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian said. Much of that credit goes to Jones and sophomore Karli Pinkerton, who kept constant pressure on the Hoover defense and directed traffic once the ball reached the Huskies' end.Although she didn't score, Pinkerton was especially impressive in terms of speed and ball handling as she consistently weaved through multiple defenders at a time."They're ferocious, they're doing a great job," Sadeghian said of his two forwards. "And we're expecting them to do that. We have a very young team and we don't have the depth at this time of the season, but we need those two to take the lead while the rest of them are growing up with them."
If not for the efforts of Hoover goalkeeper Bailey Aab, the score could've been much worse, but the junior made 11 saves, including several of the highlight variety in keeping the Indians somewhat in check.Aab's exploits kept the Indians off the board for the first 15 minutes before Schmeck's perfectly placed shot broke the seal.Jones scored her first goal with just over five minutes remaining in the first half and replicated Schmeck's long ball in the opening minute of the second half. Her third came with 29:36 remaining on a long run to the goal.Herbert Hoover's Emilee Henry broke up the shutout with just under 19 minutes remaining.
The Huskies are under the direction of first-year coach Brittany Woods, a former University of Charleston player and assistant coach who graduated from UC in 2007.Woods has taken the last couple of years off from soccer but is back on the sidelines at the school where she teaches physical education.Despite the final score, both she and Sadeghian believe this year's Huskies team has grown in leaps and bounds from previous seasons.
"I think we held our heads and we stuck in there," Woods said. "They had two perfect shots and there's nothing you can do about that. It could have been 2-1 as easily as it could've been 4-1. They played a great game, I think we played a great game and held our own, and as the season progresses, good things are going to happen.""I give a lot of credit to Hoover," Sadeghian said. "This is a very good team and much better than previous years and you can tell they've been improving and their coach is doing a great job with them."For the Indians, who played for a Class AA-A state title just two years ago, it's about building depth and organizing a young but talented squad.That depth took a bit of a hit on Friday as junior midfielder Taylor Rhodes took a cleat to the lower leg and left the game just before halftime. Sadeghian said her status for today's game against East Fairmont is doubtful.Still, Jones said Rhodes, Schmeck, and a couple others have done a nice job leading the squad so far and that the best is yet to come."They're leading us good and trying to set a good example for us," Jones said. "I think we have a lot of potential this year. I think we'll get a lot better as the year goes on."
Sissonville goalie Brooke Reed made three saves.Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, email@example.com, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.