By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL--There were opportunities abound for Warren County on Wednesday night when they hosted Skyline in boys' soccer action.
The Wildcats capitalized early to establish a quick lead and then used solid defense while adding a pair of goals late en route to a shutout of the Hawks winning 4-0 as they prepare to enter district play.
"This is a major building block for our team," Wildcats coach Jim McKee said. "We have been working since the beginning of the season and our players have grown a lot. The attitudes of our players are changing and they are enjoying playing the game of soccer now."
Hawks goalkeeper James Clatterbuck felt the pressure early as Warren wasted little time on the attack. Several times during the early minutes of the game, the Wildcats penetrated deep into the Hawks zone only to come up short before finding the end result they were looking for.
At the 29:54 mark, Harry de Venoga lit up the scoreboard on a strike from the left side to give his team a 1-0 lead. Tristan Ward helped his team to increase their lead late in the half when he tapped in a goal just in front of the net during a scramble when Matt Crutchfield's shot missed but Drew Clatterbuck out of the net.
With limited chances, Skyline found itself with its best opportunity to score at the beginning of the second half when Jeremy Kenney drew a penalty kick. Kenney lined up to square off against Wildcat goalie Daniel Martinez, but his shot sailed above the net keeping the Hawks scoreless.
The Wildcats continued the onslaught at the goal with Crutchfield and Nic McCullough coming up empty on multiple shots before de Venoga scored his second goal at the 22:43 mark.
"I can't take all the credit for the goals tonight," de Venoga said. "I couldn't do it by myself. We did a good job of passing tonight and creating shots for each other."
Crutchfield finally found the back of the net at 16:08 when he made a spin in the box and then sent a shot in the top right corner of the goal to score the games' final goal of the night and secure the Wildcats victory.
"It felt good to finally get that goal," Crutchfield said. "It's nice to get a win against our rivals. Now we have to keep our heads and stay positive and focus on the games in front of us."
Warren outshot Skyline 33 to 5 on the night with Clatterbuck notching 19 saves in the loss for the Hawks.
"After the first goal, they kind of took the air out of us," Hawks coach Paul Kline said. "They played a more physical game than us and they finished and we struggled to create on the last touch. Finishing is our weak point; we have to keep working on that continue to build upon what we have built since the start of the season."