Warriors bolt past Hawks in soggy match

FRONT ROYAL – First came the lightning delay during Thursday’s rain-soaked girls soccer match between host Skyline and Sherando. Then the Warriors did some striking of their own.

Following the 35-minute delay that came midway through the first half, Sherando erupted for three goals in a 3½-minute span, then rolled from there to an 8-0 victory over their Northwestern District rivals.

“In our little break we challenged the girls and said … in four games we didn’t have a striker that had scored a goal,” Warriors coach Rob Kilmer said of Sherando’s discussion during the lightning delay. “It was just like guess what, there’s a job listing and that job listing now says ‘striker wanted,’ because now we’re looking for a striker because we don’t have one. The girls auditioned for that and they go and explode for eight goals. That was good to see.”

Sherando (3-1, 1-0 Northwestern) came up empty on its first eight shot attempts against Skyline (2-3, 0-2) before senior midfielder Audra Sites delivered a spark for the Warriors less than five minutes after both teams returned the field to resume play.

Sites, who finished the game with what she believed to be her third career hat trick, scorched an open shot from the top of the penalty box, and the ball caromed off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net to give Sherando a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.

“We didn’t really change anything,” Sites said. “We just got it in our heads that we need to stop worrying about getting the pretty goal, we just need to take our opportunities and shoot it because we needed to score, not to worry about how we scored. Just get the ball into the net.”

Sophomore Megan Triplett – a defender who, along with senior Ryan McKenna, moved up to the front of Sherando’s formation coming out of the delay – followed Sites’ goal with one of her own 47 seconds later.

Warriors senior Erin Magalis capped the scoring outburst when she gathered a well-timed cross pass from teammate Melida Berrios in the middle of the box and scored to give Sherando a 3-0 lead in the 34th minute.

“We were just kind of panicking in front of the goal [in the first 25 minutes] and we just needed to work on keeping our composure,” Magalis said. “When we came back after the break we just really had it.”

The Warriors carried that momentum into the second half as Sites scored on a slow rolling shot on an open net deep in the box in the 42nd minute. Two minutes later, Sites hit Magalis in stride with a through ball near midfield and Magalis did the rest, streaking past a pair of Skyline defenders before beating Hawks goalkeeper Cenay Hackley (five saves) in a one-on-one opportunity.

“Those are my favorite kind of balls because I just like the competition of me running against the defender and just beating someone to the ball,” Magalis said.

Freshman Kathryn Robertson scored in the 48th minute to give Sherando six goals in a span of 17 minutes before the Warriors began resting some of their starters. Skyline held the Warriors scoreless until Sites scored on a header off a corner kick from teammate Olivia Elliott in the 73rd minute.

Berrios scored the game’s final goal in the last two minutes of the match to end the match via the mercy rule.

Skyline second-year coach Kristy Beaune said the lightning delay “kind of put a damper on our intensity level” after the Hawks held Sherando scoreless for the first 30 minutes.

“I definitely think they’ve done a lot better job being first to the ball and they’re passing and working as a team a lot better this year,” Beaune said. “I think that the first 25 minutes was a good example of us working better as a team.”

Sherando, which got two saves from sophomore keeper Amanda Hott, dominated time of possession and enjoyed a lopsided advantage in shots (25 to 3) en route to its second straight shutout.

“We’re trying to thrive off of giving up no shots, no goals and all that stuff,” Kilmer said. “I thought the girls in the back – Alex Snapp controlling in the back, very solid. We were pretty organized. And it’s an athletic Skyline team, so I’m pleased to get another shutout on a rainy, mucky night like this.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com