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If nothing else, the Staunton River girls soccer team proved that it can put on a heck of a show even without some of its marquee players.
Absent Jodi Salyer, Rachel Kessler and Moira Guzi (missing for a variety of reasons), the Lady Eagles still dominated visiting Appomattox, beating the Raiders by a score of 8-1 in front of a small, but appreciative, crowd at the Eagles’ Nest.
The goals came in all shapes and sizes for the Eagles, who seemed to score at will as the match wore on. Their confidence was nearly palpable.
Calen Weaver got the party started for the Eagles, when she drilled a shot off the opening play that was too hot for anyone to handle.
The Raiders evened the score less than two minutes later. But River keeper Morgan Lawson pitched a shutout the rest of the way.
The game winner came when Taylor Tester was tackled from behind on her way to the goal. Andrea Mason took the resultant penalty kick and converted it into the lower left corner of the net. 2-1, Eagles.
Kassie Hoag gave River a bit of breathing space when she broke through the Raider defense and beat the keeper just as the two collided. As Hoag lay on the turf, she had both eyes firmly affixed to the mouth of the goal. She delighted as the ball bounced into the dead center of it.
The second half resembled a shooting gallery. Tester blasted one from the top of the 18 on a right-to-left cross to make it 4-1.
Tester then outran the entire Appomattox back line on a bouncer that broke past the fullbacks. Tester delivered with authority.
That bouncing pass, by the way, came from keeper Lawson, who picked up the assist.
The oddest goal of the evening came off the foot of Jewell McRoy. The junior nailed a clearing shot from about 60 yards off. The spin she put on the ball sent it caroming off to the left, past the keep and straight to the goal.
Hey, Staunton River football fans, if you’re seeking a kicker for this fall, McRoy might be your gal.
Lauren Greene, one of the team captains, finished up the scoring, nailing one with about 15 minutes remaining.
The win was a nice salve for the Eagles following their loss to Northside last week. Regrettably, Appomattox is not in the Blue Ridge, so the win has less of an impact.
Still, to put up eight goals against an obviously solid team is notable.
Perhaps even more notable is that the Eagles did so without the services of those three aforementioned marquee players.
What that likely proves is that, while the Eagles have small numbers (only 15 on the roster), they certainly have a good deal of depth.
That depth will be tested when the team travels to Lord Botetourt on April 8.