The Times West Virginian

September 22, 2013

Lady Polar Bears use team effort in victory over Trinity

By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — Even though the ball was rolling slower than normal in the wet grass, Fairmont Senior had no problem putting the ball into the net as it exploded for six goals in a 6-3 victory over Trinity Christian School on Saturday.

Despite having two of their forwards out of the game, the Polar Bears came out clicking on all cylinders.

Seven minutes into the first half, Sofia Sansalone beat Trinity’s goalkeeper one-on-one for the game’s first goal. Sansalone would net her, and the team’s, second goal of the evening just three minutes later.

Ivey Nucilli scored next for the Polar Bears, giving them three goals in six minutes to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

“We had a few different players in different positions, so we knew it was going to be a battle today, but we were hoping to finish it out the way we did,” coach Ryann Moore said of her team’s early onslaught of goals.

Before the half was over, Nucilli would net another goal to give her team a 4-0 lead going into the half.

Defensively, the Polar Bears only allowed three shots, with only one being on goal, in the entire first half. Two of those shots were attempted in the last two minutes of the half, meaning that the Bears’ defense, led by senior Maddie Stevenski, allowed just one shot during the first 38 minutes of play.

“The defense did come out really strong,” Moore said. “Stevenski is a strong force back there in the back lines.”

In the second half, Moore took to resting some of her players, with Stevenski being one of them. All three second-half goals that the Warriors would score would come when she wasn’t on the field.

Fairmont Senior came out strong in the second half, just as it did to start the first, with sophomore Meghan Muller scoring a goal off a Mia Manzo deflection.

After scoring two goals in the first half, Nucilli said, “I haven’t scored a hat trick all season, so I just really wanted to get three.”

Just four minutes later, Nucilli scored her third and final goal, securing her first hat trick of the season.

Nucilli and Sansalone would account for five of Fairmont Senior’s six goals on the day, speaking to the depth of scorers on the Polar Bears’ squad.

“We knew that we needed to pick it up a little since we didn’t have two of our offensive players,” Nucilli said. “We talked before the game and we just told each we needed to connect with each other and help each other out.”

It looks like it certainly worked.

Trinity would add three goals to end the game that went unanswered by Fairmont Senior.

Emily Evans scored Trinity’s first two goals, one of which came off her head after a corner kick from Jaclyn Alderman, who would put the final goal in on a penalty kick.

The girls will play again Tuesday at 6 p.m. at East-West Stadium when they welcome in Robert C. Byrd.

The boys, who played on the same type of field at Tyler Consolidated, managed to end in a 1-1 tie.

“We’ll take it,” coach Jim DeNardi said of the tie. “It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t a loss, either.”

After a 0-0 tie at the half, the Polar Bears struck first about halfway through the second half of play. Tyler Drennen took a cross and headed the ball into the net for his first goal of the season.

Tyler Consolidated would drill in a penalty kick with 10 minutes left in the game, and neither team would put any more points on the board.

“We had some opportunities, but we just couldn’t get another one in,” DeNardi said. “The boys played well. It was good for us.”

They boys are back in action Tuesday, as well, as they play Robert C. Byrd at home following the girls’ game at 8 p.m.

E-mail Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.