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Hurricane girls bounce back, top St. Albans

HURRICANE, W.Va. - Hurricane coach Shelly Young was hoping for a bounce-back performance from her squad after Monday's tough loss to Class AAA No. 1 Winfield, and it didn't take long for the Redskins to give her just that on Thursday.

No. 2 Hurricane scored all five of its goals in the first half and put it into cruise control en route to a 5-0 win over visiting St. Albans.

"They did a good job," Young said. "They were a little rattled after Winfield, but they came out and pulled it together and were able to play a good, solid game."

The Redskins fell 3-1 in a top-two showdown against their county rival just a few days ago, but there would be no hangover on Thursday.

Josie Kroeger slipped a goal past St. Albans keeper Megan Russell off an assist from Audrey Barber less than six minutes into the game to give Hurricane (9-1-0) a lead.

Barber was far from done, however, as the junior striker scored the next goal and the final two of the half and the game, both on assists from Kayla McKnight within a minute of each other.

Those three tallies were sandwiched around a score from fellow junior forward Abby Watson, and that outburst in the first 40 minutes was more than enough for Hurricane keeper Hannah Thompson and the Redskin defense.

"They're good players," Young said of her two forwards. "They definitely have the knack of finding the back of the net."

Young also praised her team's attitude and response after Monday's loss.

"They've been very positive," Young said. "They've said, 'At least now we know what we need to fix so we have a chance of going to states.' That's what their focus is. Every game they've been really good about listening to me or picking out themselves, 'This is what we did well, this is what we need to improve upon.' Sometimes a loss drives those things home and makes them a little more real and a little more tangible."

The large winning margin was buoyed by Hurricane's efficiency on offense. The Redskins took just eight shots on goal but cashed in on five of them.

In fact, the Red Dragons (4-7-1) controlled possession often throughout the game, but couldn't get within striking distance as they attempted just one shot on goal. Midfielder Mckenzie Albert and forward/midfielder Hannah Myers turned in strong performances for St. Albans that won't necessarily show up in the stat book.

But when Hurricane did break out on a run early, St. Albans' defense just couldn't provide much resistance, leading to a frustrating result for Red Dragons coach Kim Aurelio.

"First half defensively we didn't have it," Aurelio said. "We dominated offensively. I personally, I'm sure Shelly doesn't feel this way, but I think we outplayed them in the first and second half. They had seven shots on goal and they got five of them in. Defensively in the first half we didn't have it together. In the second half, we talked about it and made some changes and we put it back together. If we had played this hard in the first half as we did in the second half, it would have been a 0-0 game all the way to the end."

Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.

 


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