Watauga girls' soccer team clubs Hibriten
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's girls' soccer team had built an insurmountable lead with Hibriten by the team the teams reached the middle of the first half.
Watauga took a four-goal lead with just 17 minutes left in the first half, and then cruised to a 5-1 victory over its Northwestern Conference rival at Jack Groce Stadium Friday night.
Watauga (6-0-2, 2-0 NWC) led 4-0 at the 23-minute mark of the first half on goals by four different players. All of those goals were scored within an eight-minute span.
"We've won some great games and we've played very well, but I've seen them work in practice and I've seen some stuff that they are capable of, we haven't really shown very well," Pioneers coach Brittany Bolick said. "Not that I'm not proud of the girls and that they haven't played well, but we've been better than a lot of teams and we've not really shown that yet. Tonight, we played to the level of our potential. I think we have more to offer, but tonight was the best I've seen us play hands down."
Three Pioneers who scored goals also dished out an assist. Sierra Hill got the Pioneers on the scoreboard first with a breakaway goal 15 minutes into the game.
That goal was followed by a Madi Critcher goal on a Kass Alvarez assist just four minutes later, which put the Pioneers in front 2-0. Hill assisted Heather Byrd with a crossing pass that Byrd slipped into the back of the Panthers' net one minute after Critcher's goal to give Watauga a 3-0 lead.
Kat Welsh gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead with a goal on an assist from Tori Derrick.
The Pioneers did not score again until five minutes into the second half on a Derrick goal off a Welsh assist to put Watauga in front 5-0.
Hibriten (3-3-1, 1-1) countered with a goal 11 minutes later on a breakaway.
Bolick said the Pioneers showed some extra commitment to their task of winning games after a tough practice Thursday and a heart-to-heart talk before the game Friday.
"We had a great conversation before the game started and last night I got on them pretty hard," Bolick said. "I asked them what they wanted. I'm really passionate about the game and I'm really passionate about these girls and I tried to force that on the girls, but I had to make them see that it has to come from within. We had a really good conversation about what they wanted to show. Do you want to dominate, or do you just want to play? Tonight, they wanted to dominate and I think they did that."
Watauga hosts Patton in the second of four home games on Tuesday.
WHS JVS 2, HIBRITEN 0
Watauga's junior varsity team beat Hibriten 2-0 at Jack Groce Stadium Friday night.
The Pioneers got a goal from Gracee Kleeberger in the 25th minute of the first half to give Watauga a 1-0 lead. Watauga added a goal from Finley Collins in the 13th minute of the second half.
WHS VARSITY 1, FREEDOM 0
MORGANTON -- Watauga beat Freedom 1-0 at Catawba Valley Soccer Complex Wednesday night.
Pioneers got their only goal from Tristin Derrick on an assist by Abby Carson with three minutes
left in the first half.
Watauga's junior varsity team beat Freedom 3-0. The Pioneers got second half goals from Amanda Lubkemann, Megan Gottfried and Sarah Patton.