CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last season, the Charleston Catholic girls soccer team shocked the state by reaching the State Tournament with five starting freshmen.
This year, the Irish aren't sneaking up on anyone.
Catholic, ranked first in Class AA/A, continued its dominant start, remaining unbeaten by earning a 6-1 victory over Capital at the Trace Fork Fields Monday evening.
"I've been real happy with the way we have been playing," said Catholic Coach Amy Mullen, of her 11-0 Irish. "I knew Capital would come out ready to play this game. We all know each other and it's a big rivalry."
Mullen believes the surprise appearance in the state tournament last season with so many freshmen has been instrumental in the success so far this year for the Irish.
"We were very excited and glad to get to the state tournament, especially being so young after coming off a team that had struggled the year before and couldn't even get out of our sectional," Mullen said.
Despite much higher expectations this season, Catholic has lived up to the hype, outscoring opponents 77-5. Seven of the 11 wins have come by shutout, and the closest margin the Irish have won by has been four goals.
Catholic has been playing stiff combination, as well. The Irish have beaten Capital, and three other Class AAA schools (Greenbrier East, St. Albans, and Parkersburg South) by a combined 22-3.
Despite the impressive showing, Mullen isn't taking anything or game granted.
"We do not think we are great," Mullen said. "None of the girls do. We don't want to get overconfident. Especially with so many young players, you just never know game to game. There are good teams out there and you know every team will come prepared anytime they play us."
What's more is that Irish opponents will have to deal with six starters who are sophomores - Caroline Dundervill, Payton Mullen, Sophie Bumgarner, Jada Bohn, Amanda George, and Peyton Keener.