By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
East Fairmont’s girls played a strong game Thursday but were overcome by Robert C. Byrd by a score of 4-2.
Freshman goalkeeper Hannah Pride had her work cut out for her as Robert C. Byrd’s forwards seemed to be sharpshooters. It seemed as if every shot RCB took was right at Pride and, for the most part, she did a great job at stopping them.
“Hannah’s played pretty good all year, really,” coach Mark Harvath said of his goalkeeper. “She’s a freshman. A freshman’s going to make mistakes. All of them do.”
The Flying Eagles shot the ball 14 times on goal, with Pride stopping 10 of them.
“Goalkeeping’s a pretty tough place to be a freshman,” Harvath said. “She’s got freshman and inexperienced defenders in front of her. She’s got a lot against her and she’s still hanging in there.”
The Eagles got on the board first with a goal from Samantha Buffey, her first of three on the night, as she took it right down the middle of the field and beat Pride one-on-one for the score.
The Bees would soon knot things up with a goal from Hannah McDougal, who chased the ball down and beat the goalie.
The two teams would battle back and forth for most of the first half with both teams having multiple chances. It would be Byrd, though, which would eventually make the most of one of its chances. The Eagles took three shots in a row on Pride but weren’t able to get one in the net. The fourth shot would be her kryptonite, though, as Malina Judd would finally get one past Pride to send the Eagles to the half with a 2-1 lead.
“The team’s young,” Harvath said. “It’s a very young and inexperienced team. This season’s about learning.”
The second half would be much of the same with both teams battling for the upper hand. Despite a penalty kick by Savannah Christy to tie the game at two, the Eagles would score two late goals on the foot of Buffey to pull away with a 4-2 victory.
“I tell them every game, ‘Don’t look at the scoreboard. We play our best and do what we can do and the good Lord will take care of the rest,’” said Harvath after the game.
For the boys’ team, a quiet first half led to an onslaught of goals in the second half, as the Bees picked up a 4-0 victory.
“It was a tale of two halves,” coach Fred Roman said of the game.
And he was right. After both teams went scoreless in the first half, East Fairmont’s Colin Harvath drilled a shot past Byrd’s keeper just six minutes in.
“I just told them two words at the half: ‘Do better,’” Roman said. “And that’s what they did.”
It wouldn’t take long, though, for the Bees’ next goal as Logan Cerullo knocked in a highly contested shot to make it 2-0. Just five minutes later, Harvath struck again as he bounced one over the goalkeeper’s head to bring the score to 3-0 with 22:00 left on the clock.
“They were frustrating us a bit, but our conditioning paid off,” said Roman. “Once we get a goal, we just smell the next one.”
All the Bees would need to do is maintain and coast to victory, and that’s what they did after adding a goal from freshman Joel Rogers to bring the final score to 4-0.
The two teams will host Oak Glen on Saturday with the girls at 11 a.m. and the boys at 1 p.m.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.