By Jeff Nations - firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKSBURG -- With rain clouds looming over the mountains in the distance, Stonewall Jackson's girls soccer team unleashed a deluge of shots on Page County in Tuesday's Shenandoah District matchup.
The Generals saturated the Panthers' net to the tune of nine goals in a 9-0 mercy-rule shortened victory, and that was just a fraction of the opportunities Stonewall Jackson created in the contest.
In the first half alone, the Generals outshot the offensively-challenged visitors 37-1 as they scored all the goals they needed to secure an early Senior Night victory.
Junior Hope Madaris had two of those goals for Stonewall Jackson (6-5-1, 6-3-1 Shenandoah), which pushed above the .500 mark with the win.
There was little doubt that the Generals would do so against the winless Panthers, who have yet to score a goal in 13 games this season.
Still, it took almost 10 minutes for Stonewall Jackson to break through against the Panthers' condensed defensive formation.
Generals junior Hope Madaris found the opening when she received a pass from Marira Romero-Cardoso on the left side of the penalty area, shook her defender and ripped a slicing shot past Page County goalkeeper Megan Robbins for the first goal of the game with 30:25 left in the first half.
It took only slightly more than a minute for Madaris to make it 2-0 with another goal, this time an unassisted tally.
"It makes us feel good because we have control of the game and we know that," Madaris said. "We can slow it down and we can spread out the field. We knew that we had to spread out because usually when we just control it on their half they just cram into the [18-yard] box and we can never get any shots to go in."
The field did open up as the Generals forced the Panthers to stretch their defense, and the payoff came often for Stonewall Jackson.
Michaela Koontz fought past a Page County defender to create a one-on-one chance, and she converted for the goal with 23:22 left in the half.
Stonewall Jackson's Amanda Miller put her team up 4-0 with 18:22 left in the half with a rising shot that found the right corner of the net for another goal.
Christina Chroniger got the Generals' seniors in on the scoring act with a breakaway goal with 9:45 left in the half, and Taylor Koontz matched twin sister Michaela's goal with one of her own two minutes later.
Stonewall Jackson coach Chris Livesay was substituting liberally by then, and junior-varsity call-up Carlie Livesay tallied a varsity goal with 4:24 left in the half. Another jv call-up, sophomore Isabelle Sharman, followed suit with a goal about a minute later, and Romero-Cardoso tallied one last goal in the final minute to put the Generals up by nine.
The final 20 minutes featured no scoring, although the Panthers did have a chance to break their scoreless drought when Page County's Anna Mills got off a shot that lured Madaris -- who replaced starting keeper Rhea Jett for the second half -- out of the box. Mills gathered in the ball off the ricochet, but her shot drifted wide.
Chris Livesay had little to criticize after his team's dominating performance.
"Our game plan was to spread it around to where we had multiple options," Livesay said. "If we tried it down the middle, then the next time we wanted to go to the left. If we tried the left, then we wanted to go down the right. We wanted to try different angles and have everybody to have an opportunity to have a shot."