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Despite a slow start, Warhill was able to cruise past Heritage 8-0 at home Wednesday in a game that was called midway through the second half due to the Virginia High School League six-goal rule.
For the first 13 minutes of the game, Warhill controlled the pace of play but struggled to find the back of the net with Heritage crowding the circle.
The Lions had shots on goal — five in the first five minutes — but were unable to get the ball past the mass of Heritage bodies near the cage.
After Warhill Coach Kristen Castano called a timeout roughly 12 minutes into the first half, the Lions found their rhythm and began taking over the game.
“I told them we needed to talk, communicate, force corners in the circle and take shots every chance we get,” said Castano of her message to the Lions during the timeout.
The Lions heeded Castano’s words and began stepping up their quality of play.
Out of the timeout, a shot by Kayla Cooke deflected off the stick of Jessica Cooke and into the lower-left corner of the net for the game’s opening goal.
Less than two minutes later, Warhill struck again as Kayla Cooke got her stick on the ball during a scramble in front of the Heritage cage and poked it past the keeper to put the Lions up 2-0.
The final 10 minutes of the first half were dominated by Warhill, who spent nearly the entire duration attacking in Heritage’s defensive third.
Haley Smith showed a good bit of skill with 9:35 left in the first half as she took the ball, dribbled through a pack of Heritage defenders and slotted the ball into the corner of the cage to put Warhill up 3-0.
With 6:14 left in the half, Kayla Cooke found the back of the cage again, this time coming off a penalty stroke. With 3:24 left on the clock, Megan Cretney stole the ball in the Heritage circle and slid the ball into the back of the net.
The final goal of the half came with 2:19 left as Victoria Hall sent a pass to Sammi Crittenden, who ripped a shot from the right side of the field for a goal.
Warhill held a 6-0 lead at halftime and would only build on that lead in the second half.
With reserve players in the game, Heritage started gaining some momentum back and began controlling the ball more in the midfield. This prompted Castano to sub in her starters again, who promptly put the game well out of reach.
Kayla Cooke got on the board again with 16:41 left in the second half, poking the ball into the cage off a rebounded save.
The final goal came a minute later when Kayla Cooke redirected a shot, which in turn redirected off the stick of Hayley Schulz for the game’s final goal.
Warhill’s schedule only ramps up in difficulty from here on out as the Lions (4-1) will prepare to host Poquoson on Tuesday.
Warhill 8, Heritage 0
Goals: Warhill (Kayla Cooke 3, Jessica Cooke, Haley Smith, Sammi Crittenden, Megan Cretney, Hayley Schulz)
Assists: Warhill (Kayla Cooke 2, Victoria Hall)