Coach Matt Walker expected big things from his Warren County Middle School girls soccer team coming into this season and two games in the Lady Pioneers look like they are proving their coach right.
Warren County put an exclamation point on a perfect opening week by destroying Manchester Westwood 9-1 at Warren County High School on Thursday night.
Seventh grader Madison Mason, one of nine returning starters, knocked home three goals in the first 20 minutes to secure her first hat trick, while Livia Walker and Emily Webb scored two goals apiece in the rout.
The Lady Pioneers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Warren County nearly netted a goal in the opening minute, but the opening shot was just wide of the mark.
Eight minutes in, Mason would make sure the Lady Pioneers didn’t have another near miss. Mason took a perfect centering pass from Walker and found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Walker would take matters in her own hands shortly after. The left-footer surprised the Manchester defense when she unleashed a shot from the outer left hash and beat Westwood’s keeper to put Warren County up 2-0.
The Lady Pioneers kept pouring on the pressure, which eventually led to a corner kick. Paige Merriman took the kick and put a perfect pass right on Mason, who redirected the pass toward the net for her second goal and the team’s third.
Coach Walker was throughly impressed with the goal.
“I thought the highlight of the match was Paige finding the foot of Madison on a perfectly placed ball off the corner kick,” said Walker.
Mason broke free moments later for an easy goal to give her the hat trick and Warren County a 4-0 advantage. Coach Walker pulled Mason shortly after, as Mason totaled five goals in the team’s first two matches.
Livia Walker would get her second goal shortly before intermission. Walker showed off a powerful leg as she blasted a shot by the keeper and sent the Lady Pioneers to the locker room leading 5-0.
Warren County came out with a completely different lineup to start the second half, but the scoring stayed the same.
Madison Merriman found the net early in the second half to give the Lady Pioneers a 6-0 lead. Moments later, Webb scored her first of two goals when she received a pass on the far post and knocked it home. Webb’s second goal came later to give Warren County an 8-0 advantage. Natalie Reed finished the scoring for Warren County with a goal late in the contest.
Westwood never gave up and with just minutes left in the game, the young team scored to make the final score 9-1.
Coach Walker was happy to see his team’s hard work in practice pay off in games.
“All 29 girls got plenty of action and had the chance to showcase all the hard work they had been putting in during practice in front of the home crowd,” said Walker. “The girls played hard, executed well and were rewarded with a nice win.”
Warren County tried to keep the momentum when the team traveled to Coffee County for a playday yesterday. Results weren’t available at press time.
The Lady Pioneers play next this Thursday at Warren County High School against Tullahoma.
The varsity game will begin at 6 p.m. and the junior varsity game will played shortly after the conclusion of the first match.