Wildcats ride early momentum to road win over Central

WOODSTOCK — Last Friday, Warren County’s girls’ soccer team went on the road and lost by four goals at George Mason.

Nothing unusual about that 6-2 setback. Heading in to Tuesday’s action, the Mason girls were 9-0 in the Bull Run District, the same league where the Wildcats and Central Falcons play.

But in the second half, Warren County coach Michael Carpenter saw something he liked.

“The second half was probably one of the best [halves] of the season for us,” the coach said.

Apparently it carried into Tuesday’s Bull Run District/Conference 28 match against the host Falcons

The Wildcats won 3-2 and, in the first half, carried on much the same as they had done at George Mason.

“It was a good half on offense,” Carpenter said.

Warren County (5-4 district, 5-4 overall) scored all the goals it would need in the first half, then played strong defense in the second 40 minutes for the one-goal win.

“Give Central credit. They didn’t let down,” said Carpenter. “It was a district game and a conference game and they played hard.”

But so did Carpenter’s Wildcats. Warren County put up two quick goal attempts just as the evening’s action kicked off, then scored its first two goals in the initial half’s first 16 minutes.

Junior Michaela Berry scored off a perfect feed from teammate Courtney L’Amoreaux. For L’Amoreaux, it was her 14th assist this season, a new high for her school. She also owns Warren County’s all-time assists record as a junior.

“[Ever since the George Mason game] I think we’ve been passing more and working more as a team. There’s a lot more talk,” said freshman Lisette Moya Machuca, who played a good game on both halves of the field.

Trailing 2-0, coach Kim Dellinger’s Central squad (1-7-1, 1-7-1) had to do something quickly. The Falcons dialed up sophomore Sydney Crosser, who nailed her team’s first goal of the game. Her dribble-and-boot from about 15 feet out brought Central within 2-1 at the 19th minute of the first half.

The home fans, who sat and paced in chilly temperatures at the Central soccer pitch, had something to yell about. But it was short-lived. The Wildcats’ Savannah Falls connected on a goal at the 33rd minute for a 3-1 lead.

Just as Carpenter predicted, Central did not back down. Taking a through pass from teammate Ciara Philpott, Falcons senior Brooke Poff converted for a goal and 3-2 at the half.

Warren County had been aggressive in the first 40 minutes, sending six shots at the goal and registering three scores. The Wildcats finished 3-of-15 in goal-shooting attempts for the night.

Central made two of seven attempts in the first half and was 0-for-4 in the second half.

“We’ve been working on our possession play and trying to hold onto the ball to keep it away from the defense,” Carpenter said. “We did a better job with that tonight.

“Defensively, we’ve worked some people in. I thought Nina Pettit and Claire Morrow did a good job tonight.”