Big win helps put more Polk soccer players on the field

Published 10:37 pm Thursday, April 23, 2015

By Mark Schmerling


Mountain Heritage was certainly not Polk County’s toughest opponent in girls’ varsity soccer this season, but his team scoring early, Wolverine coach Lennox Charles was able to give more players experience on the field, a valuable experience close to the post season.

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Against the Cougars at Columbus on Wednesday, April 22, Polk won handily, 6-0, extending its season record to 10-3 and moving to 7-1 in the Western Highlands Conference.


With less than three minutes off the clock in the first half, Polk’s Samantha Firby scored the first of her three goals, this one on an assist by Sarah Phipps. About six minutes later, Elena Preston booted one in, with Miriam Santabanez getting the assist.



That gave Charles the chance to substitute freely, which he did. Though he was unable to sub much in the Wolverines’ previous couple of matches, he took advantage of an opportunity to give more field time to less-experienced players.


“Its kind of two-fold, which is good,” Charles said of substitutions. He said he “wanted to get more girls on the field, to keep their confidence up.” He added, “Hopefully, you get someone who can step in, and hopefully earn themselves even more time.”


Though Polk kept the ball at the Mountain Heritage end of the field later in the first half, Charles felt his players could do even more.


Charles praised the performance of the Cougars’ goaltender, who recorded some 20 saves, about a dozen of those in the second half.


“She did a good job,” Charles noted.


“At half time, I told them they did not pass the ball around as much as they could have,” Charles relayed, telling his players, ‘Let’s score three goals in fifteen minutes, and put this team away.’


The Wolverines did exactly that, with Firby striking first, scoring after the ball bounced off a Cougar player. Next, Caroline Lee assisted Firby, who earned a hat trick, and gave Polk a 4-0 lead. Charles then substituted for Firby, to allow someone else to get more experience.


Ashley Love scored goal number five for Polk, assisted by Preston. That all happened within the prescribed 15 minutes, and, said Charles, “really put the game away.”

Polk's Ashley Love (16) gains control of the ball in the Wolverines' 6-0 win over Mountain Heritage, at Columbus on Wednesday, April 22. Love also scored Polk's fifth goal, which "really put the game away," said Wolverines' coach Lennox Charles. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

Polk’s Ashley Love (16) gains control of the ball in the Wolverines’ 6-0 win over Mountain Heritage, at Columbus on Wednesday, April 22. Love also scored Polk’s fifth goal, which “really put the game away,” said Wolverines’ coach Lennox Charles. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)


With less than a minute remaining in the match, Allysa Climer scored on a corner kick, assisted by Daisy Mondragon, and the Wolverines earned a 6-0 win.


With the Cougars firing few shots on goal, Charles put the Wolverines steady goaltender Kara Overholt in position to score a goal, but she was not able to.


Polk was scheduled to play Mitchell at Bakersville yesterday. Results were not available at press time. Polk’s JV squad travels to Brevard today and to Landrum on April 29 with a 5 p.m. start.


The next big varsity match is home against Owen on April 29.


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