The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

April 23, 2014

Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

Cousins Sofia Sansalone and Maddi Craig combined for seven goals in a 14-4 Fairmont Senior blowout win over the Bucs at East-West Stadium Tuesday.

“Sometimes when Sofia will have a good game, I'll have a good game because we feed off each other and just get a good vibe from each other,” said Craig, a junior who netted three goals to help the Polar Bears improve to 10-3. “Honestly, we're just pushing each other.”

Sansalone one-upped her cousin with four goals. She added:  “(We) just have a connection since we're cousins and all.”

Sansalone’s older sisters started the family tradition when they were in high school. Fairmont Senior coach Jon Cain noted that for the past five or six years he’s always had one of the three Sansalone sisters to turn to.

“They really got us into it, and we’ve been playing ever since,” said Craig, whose younger sister Claire is a sophomore on the team.

The connection is evident on the field. They even made up their own play called “Pistol.” Sansalone called it their “secret weapon.” (The pun didn’t seem intentional.)

After some coercing, Craig explained that the play starts with her at the top of the 12-meter arc and Sansalone behind the net. Craig bolts across the front of the net and Sansalone tries to hit her in stride.

“She’s looking to hit me dead center so that I have an open shot,” Craig said.

But the way the Polar Bears played, the cousins didn’t have to take the secret weapon out of their arsenal.

Instead, senior attacker Adriana Constable took the opening faceoff and sprinted right down the field for her first of two goals.

In the last meeting between the two teams, the Polar Bears came out to a sluggish start before pulling away late. The quick strike established from the get-go that this game would be different.

The Polar Bears quickly ran out to a 4-0 lead, went ahead 7-1 at the half and never looked back thanks to goals from Mariah Allen, Breanna Pacoe, Sarah Cox, Ashley Harris and Reina Edwards.

“I felt if we played anywhere close to what we're capable of, this would be the outcome,” said Cain. “We’ve still got a little ways to go, but defense is starting to listen. Offense, we're throwing a couple new plays in.

“We’ve got a way to go, but we're getting there.”

Notes: The Polar Bears will host Wheeling Park for their third annual Cancer Awareness game Thursday at East-West Stadium. T-shirts will be on sale for $12 at the game, and donations will be accepted to support the cause. Fans can also pledge an amount — as little as a nickle — for every goal scored between the two teams.

They raised about $1,500 each of the past two seasons. Cain is hopeful that he can raise about $2,000 Thursday. The game begins at 6:30 p.m.

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

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