Faced with the task of replacing much of its offensive punch lost to graduation from last season, the Circleville girls soccer team has used plenty of grit and determination on defense in their first three matches of the season.
The Tigers earned a pair of ties against Southeast District stalwarts Athens and Jackson, but had only found the back of the net once in their 240 minutes of competition.
Bella Morningstar helped change that in a big way on Saturday, scoring twice in the first half of a non-league match and finishing the afternoon with a double-brace to lead the Tigers to a 7-0 win over the host Westfall Mustangs.
The Tigers quickly took control of possession and pressured their hosts, but were still scoreless nearly 30 minutes into the match.
“We controlled the play from the beginning, but it took us until there was about 10 minutes left in the first half to break through,” CHS coach Joe Stitt said. “Bella scored her first goal and added another to give us a 2-0 lead going into halftime.”
Morningstar scored two more times in the second half to finish with her aforementioned double-brace.
Kaylin Mankin scored her first varsity goal, and Makya Cockerham and Faith Yancey also found the back of the net for the Tigers.
Olivia Weisenberger and Josie Randle contributed their first varsity assist. Mya Nardi assisted on two goals, and Ava Justice and Yancey each added an assist.
“That was a highlight of the match to have Kaylin score her first varsity goal, and Olivia and Josie to each get their first varsity assist,” Stitt commented.
Kyle McCain made a pair of saves to turn in her second clean sheet of the year for the Tigers (1-1-2), who host Wellington on Wednesday for a Mid-State League match.
The Mustangs (0-3) open Scioto Valley Conference play on Wednesday at Zane Trace.