Prep soccer: St. Albans girls blank Point Pleasant in sectional
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- St. Albans has never been known for girls soccer but first-year Red Dragons Coach Kim Aurelio is looking to change that.
Aurelio already did the same previously for Nitro, where she coached the Wildcats the last eight seasons, including a state championship-winning season in 2008.
The Dragons picked up their first postseason victory in the Aurelio era Tuesday, looking impressive in earning a 5-0 home victory over Point Pleasant.
"It's a great win," Aurelio said. "Any time it's a win, its good to get a 'W' on the scoreboard. I'm very proud of every single one of the girls."
Senior defender Madi Marshall said she looks forward to continuing the season for longer than past years.
"It's great because it means we still get to play," Marshall said. "I like to win. Any win is a good win, no matter what sport."
Marshall has experienced plenty of postseason success at St. Albans, especially in softball. The Red Dragons finished 28-5 last season and Marshall has led the team in hitting in each of the past two seasons.
Aurelio indicated Marshall has been a valuable asset to the St. Albans soccer program as well.
"Madi is a very strong leader on our team," Aurelio said. "She is always very positive and a great attribute as well as the rest of our captains."
With the win, St. Albans improved to 8-10-2 on the season. The Dragons now face an uphill battle when they play at Winfield on Thursday in a sectional semifinal.
The Generals have only lost one game this season, falling 1-0 to Morgantown, and are currently 19-1-0. St. Albans lost to Winfield 5-0 in the team's only regular-season meeting.
The Red Dragons know defeating Winfield is a tall task, but are looking forward to the match-up.
"I think we can hold our own," Marshall said. "They definitely can't walk through us. We definitely are going to have to show up and everyone is going to have to bring our 'A' game. We will see if we can do it."
Emotions will be running high for Aurelio, a Winfield alumnus.
"Winfield is an excellent team," Aurelio said. "They have always been a competitive team. I think if we go in ready to go, and everybody is on their a game, we will give them some competition.
"We stayed strong against them last time. We played them extremely competitive. No matter what happens on Thursday, these girls have played hard all year long."
The future looks bright for St. Albans, too, with a roster full enough for several squads.
"We have a deep bench," Aurelio said. "We have 29 girls on the team and every single on of them are great supporters of each other and positive. The majority of our team is freshman.
"We have a lot of starters that are freshman. All of them are making progress. It's a different caliber when you get to high school ball. They are adapting to it. St. Albans is going to be someone to look at."
The Red Dragons got plenty of balance against Point Pleasant, scoring five goals from five different scorers.
Madison Cogar scored the first one with 13:23 left in the first half, followed by Audrey Goode and Marshall, giving St. Albans a commanding 3-0 lead at the half.
The Red Dragons tacked on two more goals in the second half, giving them their comfortable 5-0 win. Alli Johnson and Hannah Myers tallied the scores.
"That's really great," Aurelia said of the balance. "It shows we have been doing what we have been practicing and working on. We are using a variety of different people and using their skills."
St. Albans has been scoring goals a lot more of late, tallying at least three goals in their past four games. The Red Dragons were shut out or scored just one goal in eight of their 19 regular-season contests.
"We made some changes and started working on various things," Aurelio said. "We were a little hesitant and challenged toward the beginning of the season, but that has changed. We have started putting them in the back of the net."