By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
There were two different games on two different fields with the same outcome. The final product leaves two Marion County teams to square off for the sectional championship.
North Marion secured its spot first with a 3-0 victory over Trinity at East-West Stadium. Fairmont Senior later took the last spot in the sectional championship match with a 10-0 rout over Braxton County at Duvall-Rosier Field.
North Marion and Fairmont Senior will now square off for sectional gold Saturday at 3 p.m. at East-West Stadium in a county rematch.
The North Marion Huskies wasted no time getting up on the Trinity Warriors.
Madison Haught beat the entire defense to net the game's first goal just 3:33 into the game.
The game would then turn into a defensive battle.
The Huskies may not have been expecting the tough defense from the Warriors, but Husky coach Steve Rodriguez knows that the playoffs mean all teams get a clean slate.
“It’s a whole new season now,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to get the other team’s best and that’s what we got tonight. They came at us hard.”
After the Huskies battled in the first half and most of the second, some offense came late.
Cassady Rodriguez netted two goals after the midway point of the second half and sealed it at 3-0 for the Huskies.
“It definitely (took some pressure off the girls),” Rodriguez said of the late goals. “Once you get two, you can sit back and relax and play defense a little bit.”
The Huskies, who allowed five first-half shots, didn't allow any at all in the second half.
“That was my goal today,” goalkeeper Shasta Pyles said. “To have a shutout in our first sectional game. (The defense) works really well together. Sometimes they don’t need me, and sometimes they do.”
Fairmont Senior, which played at Duvall-Rosier Field due to technical difficulties with a light at East-West Stadium, blasted Braxton early on en route to a dominant shutout.
Ivey Nucilli led the charge for the Polar Bears, scoring the first goal just 3:48 into the first half. She went on to finish with four total goals on the night.
The Polar Bears ended up leading, 4-0, before the midway point of the half and rode out a 6-0 lead at the break.
Five different girls scored for Fairmont Senior in the half, including two from Nucilli and goals from Gabi Mascaro, Eviana Barnes, Sofia Sansalone and Megan Wilt.
“We just wanted to play our game,” coach Ryann Moore said of the victory. “We just wanted to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Fairmont Senior would get second-half goals from Nucilli, Mascaro and Maddie Craig to bring the final to 10-0.
The Polar Bears were able to hold the Eagles to just two shots, which came late in the game.
“We just came out today and were really prepared,” senior Maddie Stevenski said of the team’s defensive game. “We knew that we had to do. We want to end with a win, so we know that we have to dig deep and keep pushing no matter what.”
As for Saturday’s game, Rodriguez told his team, “We’re going after them. Whether it’s Fairmont Senior or Braxton.”
Rodriguez said that his team wants to have an aggressive mentality going into the championship game. He said that it’s a new season and his girls have the chance to go undefeated.
Moore is telling her team the same thing.
“Saturday will be a new game. It’s got a lot more at stake,” she said. “Our girls are ready to play. They want to make a bigger statement than they did during the regular season.”
Fairmont Senior defeated the Huskies, 3-1, early in the 2013 season. Now they’ll square off for a chance to advance in the playoffs. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at East-West Stadium.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.