Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Monday afternoon, Aug. 29 saw a non-conference girls soccer battle come to West Union High School as the Lady Dragons welcomed the North Adams Lady Devils to town. The game featured two teams with very different approaches, as the Lady Dragons are a rebuilding program low on numbers while the Lady Devils are considered one of tougher teams in southeastern Ohio with a fairly lengthy bench.
Those factors came into play on a hot and humid afternoon as the Lady Devils were able to substitute freely, and that resulted in the third win in a row for North Adams, by a final score of 9-1.
“With our girls team, we are in the process of completely rebuilding the program from the ground up,” said West Union head coach Kevin Hunter, who is serving double duty as both the girls and boys head coach. “Like with any work in progress there are obstacles to overcome. One of those obstacles is conditioning the girls to play an entire game as we are currently dressing only 12 players. The girls fought hard tonight and although the score doesn’t reflect their hard work, I am still proud of their performance.”
The scoring began five minutes into the game when North Adams junior Lakyn Hupp scored unassisted after swiping the ball from a West Union defender. Four minutes later it was 2-0 when sophomore Cheyenne Abbott also scored an unassisted goal, firing in a long bomb from behind the 18 that just made it under the crossbar. The final goal of the first half came from North Adams junior Taylor Hesler, who received a centering pass from Allison Harper, took two dribbles, and fired it home.
Ten minutes into the second half, Hupp scored again off of an assist from Jordyn Kell and a second goal of the game by Hesler made it 5-0 at the 25:54 mark. With 15:17 left in the game, the Lady Dragons did something that no team had done yet in 2016, they scored a goal on Lady Devils’ goalie Madee Shipley when Anna Shupert, whose cousin Abby plays for North Adams, retrieved the ball after a skirmish in front of the net after a blocked shot and knocked it home.
North Adams made it 6-1 with an unassisted goal from Breanna Piatt and then Abbott’s second score of the night, again unassisted, gave the Lady Devils a six-goal advantage. The final two goals of the game came off the foot of North Adams senior Jessica Woodall, as she became the fourth Lady Devil to garner two goals in the game and the final whistle sounded with the visitors claiming a 9-1 victory.
“Our girls played really well tonight,” said North Adams head coach Dave D’Avignon. “Everyone logged significant playing time and it was a total team victory.”
“Coach D runs a tough program and I knew going in that it was going to be an uphill battle,” said WU head man Hunter. “It will take us some time but with our work ethic and heart that our girls have, you will see drastic improvement as the season progresses.”