By Tommy Keeler Jr.
QUICKSBURG -- Stonewall Jackson has a very versatile girls soccer team this season.
That versatility came in handy throughout the Generals 8-0 Shenandoah District victory over Page County on Friday night.
Stonewall Jackson coach Chris Livesay was able to move players around and in and out of the lineup and it didn't slow the team down.
"We just have a lot of variety on our team," Stonewall Jackson senior Taylor Koontz said. "Everybody can do whatever we want them to do."
Koontz was a prime example as she started at right forward. She scored a hat trick in the first 11 minutes of the game, and then moved to center-midfield for the rest of the first half.
Koontz said she's had trouble scoring lately, and so she tried a different approach against the Panthers.
"Recently I've been having trouble getting it to the back of the net, so tonight I just focused on relaxing and just playing," Koontz said. "It seemed to work for me -- just shooting it when I was open."
After getting the hat trick, Koontz said she tried to work on getting more of her teammates involved and making good passes.
Stonewall Jackson sophomore Emily Jordan scored the next two goals for the Generals. One came with 24:32 left in the first half, and the next one with 23:14 left in the half.
Jordan didn't play soccer last year, but said she's really glad she decided to come out for the team this season.
"I knew we were going to be really good this year with all the seniors -- I was really excited," Jordan said. "I like it, I love it."
Michaela Koontz stretched the lead to 6-0 with 6:14 left in the first half.
Many of the Generals goals came on quick strikes, something the team has been working on.
"In practice we've been working on touch and just shoot it right off the bat. Get it off quick," Taylor Koontz said. "And it showed tonight."
The Generals have had balanced scoring throughout most of the season, including having five different players score in their season-opening 5-2 win over Central.
The depth has helped make the Generals a much stronger team this season.
"In previous years we just had one gameplan -- get it out to the outside and then cross it in and that's how we scored," Taylor Koontz said. "Now we have people at every position that can score no matter what. We have so many different angles to come from, so that's helping us a lot."
Miranda Long and Ally Hepner added second half goals, and the game was stopped after Hepner's goal with 19:15 left in the game due to the mercy rule.
Jordan had two assists, and Allison Singleton and Maira Romero-Cardoso each had one assist for the Generals (6-1, 5-1 Shenandoah).
"I think were doing quite well, but we still have some work to do," Livesay said. "Tonight we came out, controlled the ball and moved it around."
The Generals outshot the Panthers, 21-0.
Stonewall Jackson has a big week next week with a game at Stuarts Draft, and then Wilson Memorial at home. The Green Hornets gave the Generals their only loss of the season so far.
"I feel like if we can go in confidently and like we played tonight, I think we can probably beat [Stuarts Draft]," Taylor Koontz said. "Then we have Wilson. We already lost to them one time, but we can beat them. If we can come off [the Stuarts Draft] game positively, I think we can get Wilson too."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org