By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY -- Tori Dean wasn't about to give up.
The Sherando junior had some nice shots early in the Warriors' game with Turner Ashby that were saved or deflected. Dean didn't let it get to her and bounced back to lead the Warriors to a 4-1 win over the Knights in girls soccer action on Wednesday night.
"It gets frustrating, cause I think they're going to go in, but she saves it. I finally got one in," Dean said of her early scoring chances. "It makes me work harder."
Turner Ashby goalkeeper Sarah Wood made a couple nice saves early against Dean, but couldn't make the save with 10:25 left in the first half, as Dean gave Sherando a 2-0 lead.
"I got a head on it and then it hit off a defender, and then she came at me," Dean said. "I just played through it with my body and finished up in the corner."
Dean finished with a goal and an assist to lead the Warriors in the non-district victory.
"To me the top player on the field tonight was Tori Dean," Sherando coach Rob Kilmer said. "I thought Tori was sensational, offensively and defensively. She worked real hard."
The game was back and forth early on until a corner kick by Mandy Fogarty gave the Warriors the early edge.
Fogarty's kick bounced around and slipped past Wood with 22:40 left in the first half for a 1-0 lead.
"I wasn't really expecting it," Fogarty said. "I wasn't used to taking corners on the left. It just kind of went in. I think it changed the momentum of the game getting that goal early."
The Warriors (3-2-1) added a third goal in the first half, as Dean connected with Erin Magalis for a goal with 2:23 left in the half.
"I got the ball. I played a through ball up the field, and then Erin, she's pretty fast on her feet," Dean said. "She just got to it and finished. That's what we've been working on in practice, and so we definitely showed it on the field."
It was the fourth goal in three games for Magalis, since she moved to forward for the Warriors.
"She's obviously coming along very nicely," Kilmer said of Magalis. "She's just so explosive."
Kelsey Singhas scored a goal on an assist from Taylor Fogarty with 6:25 left to give the Warriors more than enough cushion.
The Warriors outshot the Kinights, 15-7. Kilmer said he was very pleased with his defense.
"We didn't give up a lot of dangerous shots," Kilmer said. "Two new starters back there with Madison Leckie and Olivia Elliott. They were both solid, mixed with Dreaya [Somerville] and Katelyn Tuck, and the two goalies did well."
The Warriors still have a very young squad, with only two senior starters. Sherando is 2-0-1 in its last three matches, and the team has good reason to have high hopes for the season.
"I think we can definitely go far," Mandy Fogarty said. "I think if everyone stays healthy and we stay on the track we are now, I think we're going to do really well this season."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd