The success of the Delaware Hayes girls soccer team, according to coach Bradd Smiley, is dependent on whether or not it plays as a cohesive unit.
Well, the Pacers scored early and often in a 12-0 victory over Marion Harding and showed what they are capable of when they play as one during Tuesday night’s Division I Central District tournament opener at Cornell Stadium.
“We can be a pretty dangerous team when we play our brand of soccer,” Bradd Smiley said. “I thought we played pretty cohesive as a group and that’s what we need to do.”
The Pacers scored four goals in the first 13 minutes to build a comfortable lead and cruised from there.
Freshman Sydney McMillin led the way with a pair of goals and two assists.
Seniors Aiden Garling (two goals and an assist) and Ashley Smiley (one goal and two assists) and junior Katelyn McKee also had big nights for Delaware.
McKee put the Pacers (8-7-2) up 1-0, cleaning up a loose ball with a one-timer from in front a little less than two minutes in.
Lauren McMillin placed one over the outstretched hands of Harding goalkeeper Sara Cornely off a Maddie Smith assist in the fourth minute.
Sydney McMillin made it 3-0 Delaware when she scored in the 10th minute and Garling scored the first of her two first half goals on a feed by Sydney McMillin in the 12th minute.
Garling added her second goal in the 26th minute on Ashley Smiley’s assist to push it to 5-0, which would hold up through the break.
Still, there were some things Bradd Smiley said his team needed to work on in the second half.
“We need to work on our opportunities … we need to get better movement, we need to stay more disciplined and that’s hard to do (with a big lead at the break),” he said. “We’ve got to work for our goals. We could have had 40 shots, but how many of those were quality shots? That’s what we really wanted to work for.”
Hannah Rafeld, Kelsey Travis and Riley Mathias each added goals in the second half before Sydney McMillin and McKee rounded out the scoring, each scoring their second goals of the contest.
Lauren McMillin and Grace Miller assisted on second half goals and Ahdrin Bordner and Brianna McKeen held Harding out of the scoring column.
“It was good to send the seniors off on our last home game and be able to get a home playoff win for them,” Bradd Smiley said. “That group has been a pretty cohesive group throughout.”
Cornely stopped 21 shots in goal for the Presidents (7-9-1).
Delaware advances to the second round and will travel to sixth-seeded Hilliard Davidson Thursday night at 7 p.m.
“(Davidson is) lightening in a bottle,” Bradd Smiley said. “We need to have 80 minutes of solid soccer. They’re strong – what a second round matchup. Hopefully we can get there and play our brand of soccer.”
Orange 2, Zanesville 1, OT
The 21st-seeded Pioneers had to make the trek all the way to Zanesville to open the postseason, but made the trip more than worthwhile with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win in Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament opener.
Cassidy Ryan and Taylor Foreman scored for Orange while Hannah Sargent finished with six saves in goal.
Next up, the Pioneers will host 25th-seeded Pickerington Central in Thursday’s second round.
Northridge 3, Delaware Christian 2.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.