By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
Polar Bears aren’t generally known for their speed, but the Bears out-ran the Huskies on Thursday night in the girls’ game.
Gabriella Mascaro looked like she owned the soccer ball as she weaved in and out of North Marion’s defenders en route to a two-goal performance in Fairmont Senior’s 3-1 victory.
Fairmont Senior pushed the pace early and often with quick passes and efficient dribbling in the midfield.
“We try to use speed to our advantage and play the ball in our field when we can,” Fairmont Senior coach Ryann Moore said.
Mascaro and Ivey Nucili did a solid job in the passing game and helped the Polar Bears control the ball for most of the first half after Mascaro scored her first goal at the 6:10 mark.
When the second half started, it was much of the same for the Polar Bears.
Moore said she told her team to keep the tempo up in the second half.
“We had a ton of shots on goal, and we just needed to capitalize on one and knock it into the back of the net,” she said.
That’s exactly what her team did, scoring two second-half goals. One goal came off the foot of sophomore Tressa Bonasso and the other came from Mascaro.
North Marion’s team played aggressively in the second half after being blanked in the first half of play.
“We were trying to play a little pop-up ball,” North Marion coach Steve Rodriguez said of the second-half game plan.
The Huskies passed the ball smoothly and took almost twice as many shots in the second half as the first, but couldn’t capitalize on them.
They did, however net a goal during an inside scramble, to pull within one before Mascaro delivered the dagger.
Rodriguez says moving forward he wants more shots on the goal. His Huskies had two shots that just missed to the right that could’ve impacted the game greatly.
For the boys’ teams, the game was almost identical.
There were the same scoring patterns and same final score.
Fairmont Senior again came out on top, 3-1.
Aaron Saymansky netted the first goal for the Polar Bears, drilling one past North Marion’s goalkeeper from outside the 18.
Brent Wyne added another goal during a scramble in front of the goal to make it 2-0 before the Huskies got on the board.
“They didn’t give us anything,” Fairmont Senior coach Jim DeNardi said of the game. “We had to work for it.”
North Marion’s Dylan Leary brought the game closer with a nice goal in the second half, beating the Polar Bears’ keeper.
“They came out and scored that goal and they really sustained pressure in the second half,” North Marion coach Matt Gilpin said of his young squad. “I think they’re realizing it’s a mental game.”
Before the game was over, Caleb Anselene sealed the deal as he dribbled through the defense and knocked a goal in, bringing the score final at 3-1.
“We’ll take the win,” DeNardi said. “This is the way our games are going to be this season, being young.”
North Marion’s teams will play next on Sept. 10 on the road against East Fairmont with the girls starting at 6 p.m. and the boys to follow.
Fairmont Senior will play next on Sept. 10 at home against Liberty with the girls starting at 6 p.m. and the boys to follow.
E-mail Matt Welch at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.