What was supposed to be an intriguing girls’ soccer matchup between top-rated West Fairmont and No. 18 Wheeling Park quickly turned into a laugher Saturday afternoon.

The Polar Bears, who will likely fall from their No. 1 spot, had five different players score a goal and four more register an assist in their 6-0 shutout over the short-handed Patriots at East-West Stadium.

Wheeling Park (7-5-3) played the entire match without 2006 Midfielder of the Year Lauren Thomas and two-thirds of the match without 2006 Defender of the Year Sarah Bizanovich, who showed up midway through the second half. Both were on college visits outside of the state.

But West (11-2-1) came through with one of its better performances of the season, so Wheeling Park being at full strength might not have mattered too much.

“The way we played today, I think it would have been hard to beat us even with all of their players,” junior defender Morgan Cain said. “We regrouped. We came together.”

The Polar Bear defense, consisting of Cain, Tai Cattafesta, Megan Cremeans and Kelsey Ash, helped record its eighth shutout in front of goalkeeper Alex Mascaro, who faced only one shot on goal.

“We moved a lot of girls in and out and around to different positions. We had fresh legs quite a bit out there,” head coach Debbie Cattafesta said. “We gave some of the other girls a chance because we’re still looking at everybody and what they bring to the team. So it was a good team effort.”

In the 12th minute, West’s offense got into the act as Laura Dalton crossed the ball into the box where Lizzy Turner booted home for a 1-0 lead.

A little more than 10 minutes later, Haylee Rosenberger made it 2-0 when she found the back of the net on a cross from Danielle Price.

The Polar Bears made it 3-0 just before halftime when Price stole the ball from the Patriots before cashing in with a goal from about 25 yards away.

“We finally played like a team,” junior midfielder Lauren Retton said. “We were due to have a good game. I mean, today wasn’t our best game, but it was a good game.”

Leading scorer Laura Dalton needed just 3:03 into the second half to give West a commanding 4-0 lead.

On a loose-ball flurry just outside of the goal box, Wittlee Retton punched the ball out to Dalton, who hammered it home for her first goal.

Then with under 10 minutes to play, Ash started an offensive break for West by sending the ball into the box. That’s where Camille Leon settled it and dished it off to freshman Lauren Sansalone for the Polar Bears’ fifth goal.

Dalton tallied her second goal with 45 seconds remaining on a cross from Wittlee Retton to conclude West’s scoring. Dalton now has 19 goals in 14 matches this season.

“I don’t think we’ve lost a game when we’ve had everyone clicking at once,” Dalton said. “We pretty much had everyone on top of their game. Everyone stepped it up today, and we just need to continue to get better.”

West hits the road next week with a nonconference match at Philip Barbour Tuesday followed by a key NCAC showdown against No. 9 University at Pony Lewis Field Thursday.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at dmanzo@timeswv.com.

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