A pair of goals in the opening five minutes of a Mid-State League match on Wednesday allowed Circleville to seize the initiative in a 4-0 win over visiting Wellington.
Faith Yancey fed Ava Justice for the first score of the night, just three minutes into the match, and then doubled the CHS lead two minutes later when she scored off an assist from Makya Cockerham.
“We really took control of the match early scoring twice in the first five minutes,” Circleville coach Joe Stitt said. “We did a lot of things we have been working on to earn those goals. I was really pleased with how we possessed the ball early.”
The Tigers kept the pressure up against the Jaguars but were unable to score again before halftime.
After they stemmed a Wellington push to open the second half, the Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 with 29 minutes remaining when Yancey fed Cockerham for a goal.
“Wellington made a lot of adjustments to start the second half we weren’t really expecting. I give them a lot of credit for making a lot of adjustments and coming out with lots of energy,” Stitt observed. “Faith did a great job in the middle of the field on our third goal. She made some great runs on a counterattack and played a perfect ball to Makya who finished perfectly.”
Circleville scored the final goal of the night with 23 minutes remaining when Yancey put a shot past the Wellington keeper from about 20 years from the net.
Kylie McCain made six saves to turn in her third clean sheet of the season.
Stitt felt the Tigers played their best match so far this season against the Jaguars.
“I thought from top to bottom this was our best performance yet,” he said. “Our midfield and wingers really worked hard to put passes together and made great runs. Our defense played great again.
“Kylie McCain had to make a few saves in the goal, but our defense didn’t allow any real quality shots.”
The Tigers (2-1-2, 1-1) continue league play on Saturday with a matinee at Teays Valley.
Circleville peppered the back of the net on Wednesday with six goals in the opening 10 minutes of a non-league match to defeat visiting Piketon 9-1.
Payden Dillon scored a pair of goals during the first half for the Tigers, while Luke Stout, Liam Goodhart, Slater Search and Hayden Liff also joined in the scoring.
Justin Darnell scored twice in the second half and Donovan Dillon had the other scoring tally for the Tigers.
Kaden Paxton recorded three assists, Donovan Dillon had two, and Darnell, Payden Dillon and Blain Fowler each added an assist.
Circleville coach Evan Callihan discussed getting a number of his players involved with either a goal or an assist in the win.
“As a program we all do this together. We have 30 guys on the roster who come to practice every day working to improve and get better,” he said. ” It’s not always easy on some nights because not everyone gets to play all of the time, but for us to try to build something we can sustain we need these numbers. For us to have a chance to be successful we need competition at each position for playing time and competition for starting roles. We need guys pushing each other at practice every day as a program.
“We still have a ways to go, but we are starting to get there. I’m proud of all of our younger players and first-year players. They do so much for us as a program that doesn’t always show up on that stat sheet and I’m proud of how hard they all played and the improvement they showed in this match.”
Will Flory made six saves in net for the Tigers.
Callihan also had praise for senior Hayden Liff and freshman Logan Huggins.
“Hayden had a great night for us scoring a goal and creating many other opportunities in his first year playing soccer,” he said. “Logan also played one of his best matches for us defensively tonight. He impacted the match with his effort and energy. He was all over the place.”
The Tigers (3-0-2) resume Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Saturday when they host Teays Valley for a matinee.
Mustangs claim practice round
Westfall posted the lowest nine-hole score on Wednesday during a practice round at Pickaway Country Club.
The Mustangs tallied 167, followed by Unioto (177), Zane Trace (183) and Huntington (214).
Ian Camden led the way with 40, Brendan Biegler shot 41, and Jacob Hicks and Colton Brungarth each fired 43. Also playing for the Mustangs were Jasiah Story (49) and Dalton Bush (50).
The Mustangs return to the country club on Thursday for the third conference match of the season.