By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
Ivey Nucilli gave Gabi Mascaro the signal.
With a slight tap on her chest, the two Fairmont Senior soccer players went sprinting down the field toward each other, colliding in the air head on for a post-goal chest bump.
It was just one of many celebrations Thursday at East-West Stadium and also the most fitting one to describe the outcome.
Nucilli and Mascaro accounted for all of Fairmont Senior’s goals as the Polar Bears routed Philip Barbour, 7-2.
“It doesn’t count if we don’t do the chest bump,” said Nucilli. “We do it after every goal the other one scores.”
Nucilli, who had a hat trick earlier in the week, scored four goals and her partner in crime, Mascaro, had a hat trick of her own as the Polar Bears improved to 9-2.
“They’re great senior leaders,” coach Ryann Moore said. “If one’s having a down day, the other picks her up and keeps her going.”
Mascaro started the scoring for the Polar Bears in the 9th minute, then watched as her fellow senior scored three straight goals.
The most spectacular of Nucilli’s three first-half goals came in the 20th minute. She bursted downfield on a break away. When the goalie came out to challenge, she flipped to ball up, hurdled the keeper, and tapped the ball home.
“She will do whatever it takes to score,” Moore said. “She will sacrifice her body or jump over a goal keeper, whatever it takes.”
Philip Barbour scored just before the half to cut the lead to 4-1. But in the second half, it was all Mascaro, Nucilli, Mascaro.
That’s not a figure of speech; it’s exactly what happened. Nucilli’s fourth goal of the game was bookended by two Mascaro scores.
On the seventh and final goal, Mascaro headed a corner kick to her foot and booted it home for the second hat trick of the night.
Philip Barbour scored on a penalty kick with just minute remaining, but the Polar Bear’s held on for the win.
“They just know that any opportunity, whether we’re up or not is an opportunity to get better,” Moore said. “They know even if we are up, it means a lot to what their next performance might be.”
o o o o o o
As an encore, the Fairmont Senior boys defeated the Colts, 2-0.
Late in the game, Robbie Potesta and Jared Bartrug scored for the Polar Bears.
The Polar Bears (5-5-1) had several strong scoring chances in the opening half and then controlled the second half. Goalkeeper David Childers only had a handful of shots to turn away, none very threatening.
Then, with just under fifteen minutes remaining, sophomore Robbie Potesta fired a shot from just outside the 18 to beat the goalie in the upper corner.
The Polar Bears gave themselves a little breathing room with under five minutes remaining. Aaron Saymansky took a corner kick and Jared Bartrug headed it home.
“We don’t have a big, fast guy, so we just have to manufacture goals,” coach Jim DeNardi said. “We just work, work, work.”
And it worked out Thursday.
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.