Padgett, Colonels top Hawks

Skyline's Meghan LeCompte, left, and James Wood's Lauren Russell, right, collide as they fight for ball possession during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily


FRONT ROYAL — On a very wet and soggy night, James Wood’s Katie Padgett had an impressive showing against Skyline.

The James Wood sophomore scored four goals and had two assists in an 8-0 victory over Skyline in Northwestern District girls soccer action. The game was stopped in the final minute due to the mercy rule on James Wood’s eighth goal.

“I’m really happy with the way we played,” James Wood coach Jim Carden said. “To be honest I didn’t want to score eight goals.”

James Wood (7-6-1, 4-2 Northwestern) scored four goals in a 12-minute span in the first half to pull away.

Padgett made a move and put the ball past Skyline starting goalkeeper Kali Slate with about 24 minutes left in the opening half.

Skyline's Molly Meador gets a quick kick while James Wood's Madison Myers runs to catch up during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

About nine minutes later, Padgett scored again on a breakaway.

“She’s a very good player,” Carden said. “Katie, even with one up top, she’ll go against four and she did the same thing in many games. I think she’s got 24 or 25 goals now. That’s really good for a sophomore. I think she had 13 last year, so she’s well on her way.”

James Wood freshman Kaylah Gankiewicz scored on a header on a pass from Padgett just two minutes later. Gankiewicz then added another goal a minute later for a 4-0 James Wood edge.

Gankiewicz was red-carded in the final minute of the first half for kicking Slate on a play. Slate was injured and replaced in goal by Jordan Heberle for the rest of the game.

James Wood sophomore Madison Myers added two goals of her own in less than a minute to give the Colonels a 6-0 advantage with 28 minutes left in the game.

Skyline's Abigail Brant, left, and James Wood's Lauren Russell, right, go after the ball during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

The second of Myers’ goals came on a pass from Padgett.

Padgett closed out the scoring with the final two goals. The first came with three minutes left, and the second came just two minutes later to end the contest.

“We played hard and we’re going to get it together this weekend and prepare ourselves to play on Monday (against Millbrook),” Skyline coach Kristy Beaune said. “I saw all kinds of bright spots out there. I’m not upset at the girls. We had a couple mental breakdowns, but all in all the girls played hard and they played well.”

The Colonels have only three seniors, and most of their top scorers are freshmen or sophomores.

“I’m excited about our young players,” Carden said. “The travel program really helps us.”

James Wood's Kaylah Gankiewicz, left, and Skyline's Grace Wagner, right, lose their balance as they struggle to get to the ball during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

James Wood hosts Handley on Monday. Carden said if the Colonels win there will be a three-way tie in Conference 21 West for the second seed in next week’s Conference 21 West tournament. Due to the red card the Colonels will have to play without Gankiewicz.

Carden said they’ve had to deal with injuries and being short handed all season, so he thinks the team will be fine.

Carden, who said Friday’s win was the 252nd of his coaching career, said he’s been very impressed with the way Skyline has improved over the years.

“Skyline’s gotten a lot better,” Carden said. “They tied Handley (earlier this season) and they played well. So you can see some light at the end of the tunnel for them, and I’m happy for them.”

The Hawks (5-9-1, 0-6-1 Northwestern) finish off their season at Millbrook on Monday, before beginning postseason play Thursday in the Conference 28 tournament.

James Wood's Kaylah Gankiewicz, left, and Skyline's Kaileigh Pittington, right, fight for ball possession during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

Beaune said she’s very happy with the season the team has had so far.

“I am very proud of how hard they’re working right now,” Beaune said. “We’re in kind of a scoring slump, but we’ll get there.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

James Wood's Kaylah Gankiewicz, left, and Skyline's Destinee Manning race to the ball during first half girls soccer action Friday night in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily