It took the better part of three halves, but the Big Walnut girls soccer team finally broke through.
Junior Alexis Schone scored on an Alyssa Tarney feed with 2:34 left in the first half to give the Golden Eagles their first goal of the game … and season.
Schone added a second goal with a minute and change remaining to give BW a 2-0 win over Westerville North in non-league play Saturday night in Sunbury.
Emily Neff assisted on Schone’s second goal with a touch pass from the left side.
“Our ability to move the ball really, really helped to create chances,” BW coach Chris Allen said. “(Schone is) a very dangerous attacker. We just have to find moments for her to be able to get in and take more chances going to goal. I think as the season goes by, we’ll continue to get better.”
The Eagles were destined to break through. If not for the steady goalkeeping by North’s Abigail Markley, the go-ahead goal would have come much sooner.
Markley accounted for five of her seven saves in the first half – stopping an Annie Thomas roller on a dive in the eighth minute.
She also stopped a shot that Alle English tried to sneak through right post one-handed in the 31st minute to keep it scoreless.
BW goalkeeper Payton Carter picked up right where she left off last season with her first shutout of the year. Carter and the Eagles had 16 shutouts in 23 games last season in their run to the Division II final four.
The Warriors controlled possession for much of the second half and Carter held strong – picking up five of her eight saves.
The Eagles (1-1) came through on the other side of a week that didn’t start very well. They lost 3-0 at New Albany to open the season and OCC-Capital play. They also had a game against Olentangy Orange postponed because of field conditions.
“We wanted to get our season off to a (good) start,” Schone said. “We were working really hard these past couple of days in practice and I think it really paid off.”
So, Allen had to wait a little longer to get his first career win.
North (0-3-1) had a rough first eight days in its own right with 2-0 losses to Grove City and Hilliard Darby sandwiched around a 4-4 tie with New Albany. The Warriors needed two goals late in the second half to pull even against New Albany.
“I feel bad for (our team) because we’re so much better than our record shows,” North coach Ricky Konkolewski said. “And that doesn’t go against Big Walnut because they came to play. But, we’ve played three games in one week … that second half we can still be pounding away, but we’re going to run out of options because we’re tired. And a lot of that is on me for making the schedule.”
Next up, BW travels to rival Olentangy Tuesday in a non-league contest. Play is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.