The North Adams girl’s soccer team had their way with West Union Monday night, taking home a lopsided 9-0 victory.
The scoring got underway early when sophomore Lakyn Hupp scored about 90 seconds into the game striking a chance to the near post for the first of many on the night.
About five minutes later if was Hupp who struck again when she found some separation in the box off a corner kick which she was able to control off her stomach for the the 2-0 lead.
One-way traffic continued until the 25:53 mark when senior Cati Butler got in on the scoring action, taking a ball high off her chest inside the box before beating the West Union goalkeeper, sophomore Caitlin Cooper, across the face of goal to make it 3-0.
From there on for most of the first half, West Union was able to defend well enough to prevent the dam from completely breaking as North Adams failed to find the back of the net again until the 6:12 mark when Butler found herself with the ball at the penalty spot and was able to beat the keeper for her second and the team’s fourth, before the teams broke for halftime.
North Adams Head Coach Dave D’Avignon said his team learned that they had to win the ball consistently after they failed to do so in a 3-0 loss at Lynchburg Clay.
“Lynchburg won the ball from us more than we won it from them and we did just the opposite today to West Union,” D’Avignon said. “You’ve got to have the ball and you’ve got to score.”
D’Avignon said on his team he was especially impressed with the play from Butler, who said she played hard the entire evening.
“Cati Butler looked really good tonight,” D’Avignon said. “She was chomping at the bit to score more, more and more and we just put a limit on her and she reached her limit and she still kept playing hard.”
The second half began much like the first when Cati Butler bagged two more goals in the first five minutes of the second half to make it 6-0. Jordan Kell added another one with about a half hour to play, freshman Cheyenne Abbott scored her first goal in a North Adams uniform with 12:00 minutes to go and Lakyn Hupp added the final goal of the night on a cross that sailed just over the goalie’s head to bring the total to nine.
Despite the lopsided score, D’Avignon said he was very impressed with the way the Dragons played, especially Cooper, who had a busy evening in guarding the West Union goal.
“Their team impressed me,” D’Avignon said. “They stayed with it. They ended up playing with only 11 people because of injuries and you really got to admire that. Their goalie had 37 saves as well. That’s a lot.”
North Adams was able to empty their bench, getting playing time for all, something D’Avignon said is crucial to the success of the program.
“[Playing time for everyone] is absolutely important,” D’Avignon said. “That’s why they’re here. We’ve got 20 kids on the team and they all want to play and they’re at different levels of abilities at this point and the way they get better is by playing. So you get a game where you have a bench game you play the bench. And the starters understand that. You try to get every one in as much as you can.”
On the opposite bench, West Union Head Coach Joseph Kramer said he knew his team would keep working hard because they’re playing for each other.
“They’re good kids,” Kramer said. “They know they have to play hard because they don’t have the skills right now and they have to work hard and develop those skills. They know it’s a very demanding sport. Plus when you’re playing North Adams a lot of these girls have known each other for a long time so it also makes you play harder when you’re playing against your friends.”
As far as the one way traffic down the field was concerned, Kramer said his team was at an obvious disadvantage due to his team’s lack of depth.
“It’s just the nature of the beast,” Kramer said. “We don’t have 25 kids so we have to play for longer stretches. They’re playing hard but that’s why we’ve got them on the team. They band together and they’ve got everybody’s back.”
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.