Catholic Central tops Madonna, stays unbeaten | News, Sports, Jobs

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WEIRTON — The Catholic Central girls’ soccer team controlled the ball and the match against rival Madonna.

Ally Laughlin and the Blue Dons were under siege by the Crusaders throughout the majority of the match as Catholic Central came away with a 6-0 victory on a sunny and cool Wednesday evening at the J.C. Williams Soccer Complex.

With the victory, the Crusaders remained undefeated at 4-0.

“We passed the ball really well,” Catholic Central head coach Jonathan Hoover said. “We had players in open positions, and they made runs toward the goal.

“Their goalie made some really good saves. We could have scored more goals, but she did a good job in goal. She came off her line.

“We are finding a groove. We are taking smart shots.”

The visitors outshot the hosts, 27-3. The girls in white took 22 shots on goal, while all three of the home team’s shots were on goal.

“We are working on possessing the ball,” Madonna (2-3) head coach Adam Welsh said. “They were the better team. They were quicker, faster and more skilled. When we play better teams, we have to be equally quick, fast and more skilled. Today, was a hard a lesson to learn.”

The visitors from Jefferson County netted three goals in each half.

Individually for the victors, Therese Baillargeon collected a brace, Sofia Walsh and Isabelle Lee each tallied a goal and an assist and Jackie O’Karma and Mary Rohde each recorded a goal. Also, Maisy Symington contributed two assists, and Aurie Hoover delivered one.

Josey Urbanczyk made three saves in goal en route to posting her third straight shutout. Catholic Central has shutout John Marshall, Cambridge and now Madonna.

Laughlin made 15 saves for the girls in blue, while Kennedy Harbin knocked one shot away while she was standing on the goal line.

“Ally Laughlin made a lot of great saves,” Welsh said. “She was outstanding. She is first-year goalie. She does a tremendous job. She keeps us in games.”

Laughlin has two shutouts to her name this season with those coming against Edison and Magnolia.

There is a lot of respect between the two programs.

“I think so,” Coach Hoover said. “Madonna plays the right way. No matter their record, they are going to be tough and physical. They did not disappoint today. They played hard. They were aggressive. They were a challenge.”

The offensive pressure applied by the Blue-and-Gold led to Madonna taking 13 goal kicks in the match, while Catholic Central took just three. The Crusaders had a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Rohde’s goal came off a corner kick by Lee. Lee sent the ball into the box, and Rohde knocked the ball into the net about eight minutes into the second half.

“We want to find a good groove,” Coach Hoover said. “We are figuring out positions and our rotations. We have a way to go. We want to hit our stride before OVACs and sectionals.”

The girls from Hancock County create some chances of their own, however, they were unable to get one into the back of the net.

“We have seen some real good competition, and we have had games where we were the better team,” Welsh said. “We’re getting better. We are working on playing possession ball. We want to look to attack. We’re doing it.

“Central is a good team. They were the better team today. We had some opportunities to score. They were quicker and faster to the ball, but we will get there.

“We are going to get better. We are going to keep practicing and keep drilling. We will get there.”

Catholic Central has not allowed a goal since giving up two goals against Harrison Central in the season-opener out at Wagner Field.

The Crusaders have scored at least three goals in all four of their matches, and have not allowed a goal in the last three. That recipe will lead to a lot of success on the pitch.

“Absolutely,” Coach Hoover said. “We want to keep up a one-goal or two-goal advantage. That takes the pressure off of us.

“We will see what happens when we give up a goal. That will determine a lot, but I think we have the right mentality. we will be all right.”

Catholic Central is scheduled to play East Liverpool at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Tony Recinella Soccer Field.

Meanwhile, Madonna is slated to play Tyler Consolidated at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home.

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