Prep soccer: Williamstown girls slip by Herbert Hoover
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover and Williamstown had plenty of scoring opportunities at Joe Eddie Cowley Field in Falling Rock on Thursday evening.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, it was the visiting Yellowjackets that took advantage of its chances as Williamstown held on for a hard-fought 2-1 win in girls high school soccer action.
Williamstown, in its first season playing as a girls only soccer team, won its fifth straight to improve to 5-2-0, while Hoover (9-3-1) saw its five-game winning streak snapped.
Hoover entered the contest ranked seventh in the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings, with Williamstown entering at No. 16.
The Yellowjackets played co-ed soccer for eight seasons before separating this season.
"We're a young team and it was big for us not to let the girls get down on themselves after losing their first two games," Williamstown Coach Mike Albertson said. "We came back after those losses and you could just see the girls grow and become more comfortable with their teammates.
"Early on some of the girls were trying to do too much, but they've learned to trust their teammates and tonight our defense did that."
Williamstown opened the scoring with just 34 seconds remaining in the first half when freshman Sydney Hill scored with an assist from junior Laura Petty on free kick.
"We were able to capitalize on a couple of opportunities," Albertson said. "That's something we've been working on because we didn't do it early on in the season.
"The free kick at the end of first half was a great play by the girls. We had talked about that and practiced it and they got together and got it done."
Hoover knotted the score with 35:16 to play when sophomore Hannah Schoolcraft slipped a shot past Williamstown junior keeper Heather Albertson.
The Yellowjackets again relied on late-half heroics to take the lead when Petty scored with 1:45 remaining with an assist by freshman Ellie Gardner.
While disappointed with the loss and handful of missed opportunities, Hoover Coach Brittany Woods also saw a silver lining in the defeat.
"We have to start capitalizing on all the chances we get," Wood said. "We need to hustle 100 percent while we're on the field.
"We've squeaked by some teams and we've been on a roll for a little bit, but this isn't entirely bad. Sometimes you need knocked down to show that we still need to work and improve what we do.
"We just need to capitalize on our chances and pass the ball around. We need to play our style of game. Sometimes we play a little relaxed and our heads aren't in the game for the whole 80 minutes."
Heather Albertson finished with 11 saves for the Yellowjackets, while Hoover junior keeper Bailey Aab collected 12.
Williamstown is in action again Saturday at 1 p.m. when it travels to John Marshall. Hoover will host Ravenswood at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Contact Michael Dailey at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelDaileyWV.