Eagles roll past Falcons

BERRYVILLE – The abundance of youth on Central’s girls soccer team has resulted in some inconsistencies on the field this spring. Head coach Kim Dellinger said the Falcons saw the downside of that youth in Tuesday’s road match at Clarke County.

The Eagles were the more aggressive and faster team on a rain-soaked field, and sophomore Danielle Toone notched a hat trick as Clarke County rolled to a 4-0 Bull Run District/Conference 35 victory.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Falcons (6-5-1, 1-4 Conference 35), who dropped a 2-1 match to Clarke County (9-3, 6-1) nearly a month ago.

“I just didn’t feel like we came really to play today,” Dellinger said. “I mean we just kind of didn’t move the ball quick enough. Obviously they’re a very good team. You can’t take that away from them. They’re very aggressive. They’ve been playing together for so long, and we’re fairly new to it. We have a lot of 10th graders and we’re just trying to get them worked into the system. From week to week, we have a good game one week and the next week we’re a little bit flat.”

The Falcons, no strangers to a sluggish start, had one in each half of Tuesday’s loss. Clarke County scored two goals in each half, both times notching a pair of scores within the first 16 minutes of action.

“We’re always a slow starting team and a lot of times … we start out slow and it just takes us time to get gelled up,” Dellinger said. “Sometimes I get a little impatient and I start subbing people out a little bit. Maybe I need to give them a little bit more time inside. But I think that sometimes we’re just very slow to get started. Sometimes once we get going we can bring it together but we couldn’t get a passing game going today.”

Clarke County struck for its first goal in the 12th minute, as senior Hannah Ravenscroft gathered in a long pass from a teammate, pushed the ball downfield and converted on a breakaway shot in the middle of the box that beat Central freshman keeper Kendall Herbaugh (six saves).

Toone scored the first of her three goals four minutes later, as she fired a curling shot from the top left corner of the penalty box that hooked into the upper left corner of the net for a 2-0 Eagles lead.

Toone said the field conditions, well saturated by several days of rain, didn’t hinder Clarke County’s offensive attack.

“I think it might’ve helped us out because it was more slippery, more chances for the goalie to mess up,” she said.

Clarke County gained a 3-0 advantage 11 minutes into the second half when Toone gathered a through ball from teammate Sydney Staples, pushed into the box and flicked the ball around Herbaugh’s lunging attempt before tapping a shot into an open net.

“Tonight, you could see it on the field, we were waiting for balls to get to us and they were just running through them and taking them and going,” Dellinger said. “In this game you can’t wait on anything, you have to be super aggressive.”

Two minutes later, Toone capped the scoring when she stepped in front of Ravenscroft’s cross pass through the box and poked a stumbling shot from beyond the right post that sent the ball trickling over the goal line.

“I saw the ball coming across so I just threw my body in front of it and hoped it went in, and it did,” Toone said. “I didn’t think that it went in, so I was surprised.”

Clarke County enjoyed a 20-8 advantage in shots in the victory, while Central’s best scoring chances came on a pair of shots late in the first half.

In the 28th minute Falcons junior Sydney Crosser sent a skidding 20-yard shot that ended in a juggling save by Bristen Broy (five saves). Sophomore Lauren Cook attempted to convert on a cross pass from Kaelyn Cary a minute later, but her shot from the middle of the box was again blocked by Broy.

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