Albemarle girls soccer seemingly hit every single part of the goal’s frame in the first half against Charlottesville Wednesday night in a 6-0 victory.
Post, crossbar, other post. Throw those near-misses in with a series of other shots that sailed just high and left or just high and right or just high and despite dominating possession, the Patriots led by just a single goal late into the opening half.
But late in the half, Savannah Alexander helped force a turnover in the Black Knights half that found Fizzy Gonzalez’ feet. Gonzalez then quickly played it forward as Alexander took off upfied and fought past a defender to connect and score.
“It takes one to kind of settle us,” said Albemarle coach Amy Sherrill. “It’s hard for them mentally to keep going at it but thankfully we kept going and stuck to us. We’re working through some kinks but finally the floodgates kind of open up.”
The Patriots (6-0) cruised from there, scoring four second half goals to knock off a scrappy Black Knights squad with goals from Megan Mathes, Katie Schnell, Paige Horn and another late one from Alexander. Gonzalez scored the Patriots’ opening goal in the first half off of a Schnell assist.
Charlottesville created some chances on the counter attack but mostly scrambled to try and withstand a relentless assault and sustained possession by the Patriots.
“We definitely held it together more in the first than we did in the second, it’s hard to keep up with a team like that,” said Charlottesville coach Marcelle Van Yarhes.
Part of the reason the Black Knights struggled to transition the ball is that if they attacked on the left, Gracie Williams was waiting. On a loaded roster, Williams is a sort of secret weapon, playing as the right back. Williams isn’t your typical repel and drop back defender, and if she gets the ball she can quickly put the Patriots on the counter attack, as she showed with a tremendous assist on Schnell’s goal a big-time strike in the box.
“That was a position change from two years ago, she was playing forward,” Sherrill said. “Most players don’t expect a defender to be so dynamic, to be able to take them 1v1, to be so fast — she’s a state champion in track — and to be able to rip it. She’s extremely versatile and a key player for us.”
Charlottesville hung in early in part because of keeper Adria Cafferillo, who managed to withstand a barrage of shots from the Patriots and just kept plugging away and forcing some errant shots with her positioning.
“She has great composure, she’s only a sophomore,” Van Yarhes said. “She takes that role seriously. She’s maturing every game and finding her voice and her confidence.”
The Patriots will take on Fluvanna on the road Monday while the Black Knights travel to take on Western Albemarle the same night.