Fairmont Senior’s senior duo of Gabi Mascaro and Ivey Nucilli set the tempo early for the Polar Bears as they picked up a 7-2 victory over cross-town rivals East Fairmont.
Nucilli netted three goals in the first half, and the Polar Bears never looked back.
“Gabi and Ivey were just real excited about playing this game,” coach Ryann Moore said of the duo. “For them and (Maddie) Stevenski, it’s their last East-West game.”
Nucilli and Mascaro accounted for the first four goals of the game and then gave way to some of their younger players.
“They’re two of the best in the state,” East coach Mark Harvath said.
Coming into the game, injuries were aplenty for both teams. But it would take the biggest toll on East as the Bees were without two of their senior captains on the night.
“(Injuries) are killing us,” Harvath said. “We hung in there the best we could.”
East’s freshman goalkeeper, Hannah Pride, had her work cut out for her most of the night, but she seemed to take it all in stride and kept battling for the Bees.
“The girls don’t quit. They’ve been under the gun all season,” Harvath said.
But after scoring five first-half goals, the Polar Bears cruised to victory.
Avery Towns nearly had a hat trick as well for Fairmont Senior, but finished with two goals.
Torree Ridgway and Chloe Timmins each added late goals for the Bees, bringing the final score to 7-2.
In the boys’ game, defense and physicality were the name of the game as Fairmont Senior edged out the Bees, 1-0.
The first half saw many knockdowns on both sides and very few shots.
“We did a nice job of clearing the ball tonight,” Fairmont Senior coach Jim DeNardi said.
With the score tied at zero late in the half, Fairmont Senior’s Ryan Rosier was able to break away from the pack and net a goal. The goal would be enough for a 1-0 lead and an eventual win for the Polar Bears.
“I really didn’t think a one-goal game would beat them. A 1-0 game? I didn’t really expect that,” DeNardi said. “They’re a talented team, and they’ve got some kids that can score.”
The second half saw Fairmont Senior go on the defensive, but that’s nothing the Bees haven’t seen this season. according to their coach.
“Their defense wasn’t what frustrated me,” East coach Fred Roman said. “My frustration was just that we didn’t draw them out enough. We have to have a little more control.”
East would go on to have plenty of chances in the second half, but Fairmont Senior goalkeeper David Childers ate everything that came his way excluding the shots that were just wide right or left or had sailed over the top of the goal.
“Being down is not something that we’re used to,” Roman said.
The Polar Bears would hold on, though, and go on to win, 1-0.
“It was a team effort tonight,” DeNardi said.
As for the rivalry, DeNardi said any game against East will ramp up his guys.
“It’s not hard to get up for a game like this,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose to East.”
Fairmont Senior will host Charleston Catholic Saturday with the boys playing at noon and the girls playing at 2 p.m. East Fairmont will travel to play Liberty, with the girls playing at 11 a.m. and the boys playing at 8:30 p.m.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter at MattWelch_TWV.