Warriors use early scores to earn win

STEPHENS CITY – Sherando’s girls soccer team benefited from a strong first half against visiting Woodgrove on Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Conference 21 tournament.

With the wind at their backs for the first 40 minutes, the Warriors scored three goals in the first half and then held off the Wolverines en route to a 3-1 victory. The win advances No. 3 Sherando to Friday’s semifinal round against second-seeded Heritage (Leesburg).

“I just think we came out with really good intensity and we stayed composed on all our goals,” said Warriors senior Erin Magalis, who was one of three Sherando players to score in the victory. “We had three really nice goals and then we just defended for the rest of the game. We had one slip-up but we were still able to hold them, so I thought we played pretty well.”

It didn’t take long for Sherando (11-5-1) to take advantage of the wind conditions on Tuesday evening, as sophomore midfielder Taylor Fogarty put the Warriors on the board in the seventh minute with a long goal. Gathering a cross pass into the middle of the field from teammate Lauren Heskett, Fogarty fired a shot from about 30 yards away that struck the bottom of the crossbar and bounded across the goal line for the match’s first score.

“What a quality goal from a quality player,” Warriors coach Rob Kilmer said. “What a fantastic hit. From a sophomore too, to go and get us that.”

Magalis gave Sherando a two-goal lead 12 minutes later when junior Olivia Elliott found her in the middle of the penalty box with a through ball, and Magalis punched a shot into the net for her 16th goal of the season.

Elliott closed the Warriors’ scoring with a goal in the 28th minute. Elliott fielded a pass from Kelsey Singhas and pushed the ball down the left side of the field before crossing into the middle of the pitch parallel with the top of the penalty box. She then fired a shot into the right side of the net to send Sherando into halftime with a 3-0 lead.

“During practice we try to play a hard practice, try to get every ball and we just came out and tried to play our hardest,” Elliott said. “We were connecting very well. Our passes were going where we wanted them to go, so I guess that helps a lot.”

Magalis attributed Sherando’s scoreless second half to a lack of intensity that the Warriors possessed in the first 40 minutes, but Kilmer said the wind – which was working against the Warriors in the second half – was definitely a factor on Tuesday night. After firing just one shot in the first half, Woodgrove tallied eight in the final 40 minutes, while Sherando had five shots in the second half after shooting 10 times in the first half.

The Wolverines (3-15) scored their only goal of the night on Lexi Trombly’s score off a corner kick from teammate Darby Stephens with 22 minutes remaining. Sherando goalkeeper Amanda Hott initially grabbed Stephens’ corner kick but Trombly – playing the ball – collided with Hott just hard enough to force the ball from the keeper’s grip before the ball trickled over the goal line.

Sherando’s defense shut down Woodgrove from there, and Hott finished with six second-half saves, including a diving stop on a Jordan McConnell’s 8-yard shot with nine minutes to go.

“She’s composed enough that she came and made the big save,” Kilmer said of Hott. “The dive, she went and got that so that’s fantastic. If they get that one that lets them in the door, so big credit to Amanda on that. Huge.”

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