If there’s one thing that the Big Walnut girls soccer team carried over from last season, it’s keeping its opponents off the scoreboard.
The Golden Eagles coupled that with two quick goals to all but seal up a 5-0 win early at Olentangy Berlin in non-league action Tuesday night in Delaware.
BW, ranked ninth in the latest Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division II state poll, has allowed just one goal since giving up three to New Albany in the opener.
BW coach Chris Allen wanted better starts for his team – and he got it Tuesday night.
“I think the big thing for us was coming out right from the start,” he said. “That’s something that’s really hindered us … as a slower-starting team in our couple of games that we played before (Tuesday). It was good to get that first goal and kind of build some momentum off it.”
Alle English collected a Delaney Siniff clear attempt off her own corner kick and sent a floating shot from the right over the outstretched hands of Berlin goalkeeper McKinley Hoffmann to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead with 37:56 left in the half.
“It was a good hit,” English said. “Initially, I was going for a cross, but the top was open so I nailed it in.”
Hoffmann went low to make a difficult stop on a shot from English off an Avery Schone through-ball. But, Adelee Gartner was there to put the rebound in to push the BW lead to 2-0 with 34:08 left in the half.
“(Allen) told us, ‘finish early,’ and that’s we did,” English said. “I think the experiences that we’ve had with our past few games – we came out slow. Today, we came out fast and put it away early.”
Schone pushed it to 3-0 with a goal off an Ansley Thomas touch-pass later in the half to put the game out of reach. She added a second goal in the 51st minute.
Morgan Bodker scored off an Emily Neff assist on a Grace Bodker corner that pinballed in front of the Berlin goal in the 58th minute to cap the scoring.
“I think it’s just that we’re developing as a new team and it’s going to take time,” Berlin coach Tara Zimmer said. “We only have three girls that have varsity experience (before this season). That’s definitely a big part of it.”
Payton Carter picked up her third shutout of the season, posting eight saves in goal for the Eagles (2-1-2).
“(Berlin) has super-fast girls on the outside,” Allen said. “If we were able to get numbers behind the ball and be able to double-down when we needed to … that was the big thing for us to stop those girls. For us – it’s very important to be organized defensively … that really helps us to keep other teams from scoring.”
Hoffmann was credited with seven saves and Jessica Burchinal picked up two in relief for the Bears (2-6), who have lost four straight.
“I think our defense and McKinley played really well,” Zimmer said. “We need to move forward. We play Jerome on Thursday and that’s another really good team. We just go back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back playing really, really good teams. We’ve just got to move on (from this one) – tomorrow’s a new day.”
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