The Hannibal girls’ soccer team kicked off its season Saturday with a road trip to Marshall and the Lady Pirates came away victorious. Hannibal beat the Owls, a North Central Missouri Conference foe, 3-0.

“It’s nice (to start off with a win),” Hannibal coach Eric Hill said. “You want to get a win every time you are out. But, to start off the season with a win, when it is our longest road trip of the season as well, going to Marshall on a Saturday when both teams are not really knowing what they have because they haven’t been able to go outside, just like we haven’t. We know we have some talent and we have a lot of girls back, but we just weren’t quite sure what we were going to get out of them in that first game.”

Hannibal junior Meghan Grimes said the team played well together in the win.

“It was really good for our team (to get a season opening win),” Grimes said. “I think it just helped us to be more confident in ourselves and it will help us in the future with the rest of our games. We played really well as a team.”

Senior Theresa Sheffer gave Hannibal the early lead when she picked up her first goal of the season. Sheffer scored an unassisted goal in the 14th minute of the first period.

Hannibal took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Grimes scored her first career varsity goal in the 47th minute with Paige Utterback picking up the assist. Grimes’ goal gave the Lady Pirates a 2-0 lead.
“It was pretty exciting,” Grimes said. “I was a little nervous, but once I scored, it kind of helped my confidence.”

In the 75th minute, Hannibal got one more goal when Utterback scored the Lady Pirates’ third and final goal of the night unassisted.

“I honestly think the girls played really well,” Hill said. “We were on turf which isn’t our usual playing surface. For it being so early in the season I thought we passed the ball well and we defended well.”

Kaitlyn Edge earned her first win of the season while simultaneously picking up her first shutout of the season. Edge had just one save on the day as Hannibal outshot Marshall 13-1 on goal and 18-1 overall.

“She didn’t have to do a whole lot,” Hill said. “Our defense played really well. She only had one save. We outshot them 18-1. As far as shots on goal, their one was on goal so she did have to make a save.”

In junior varsity action, the Lady Pirates earned another shutout. Hannibal’s jv team blanked Marshall 4-0.

“The big scorer for us in that one, was a girl who plays a little bit of us in varsity,” Hill said. “Bailey Welch had three goals. She also had an assist. A lot of Bailey’s (goals) were unassisted. Her speed is going to be a huge asset to us this year and in the future.”

Welch, a freshman, dominated on the field. Welch was involved with every goal the Lady Pirates had. She scored three goals to record a hat-trick and then picked up the assist on Jennifer Fohey’s goal.

“Fohey was our junior varsity goalie last year,” Hill said. “She is a sophomore and is playing on the field for us, playing some midfield this year.”

JV goalie Summer Golian got the win and the shutout without have to make a single save.

“She had a relatively easy day as well,” Hill said. “She didn’t make any official saves as they didn’t have any official shots on goal. She made a couple of nice plays where they threw balls out and she had to make the decision to come out and win the ball with her foot and clear it out. She did a nice job of that.”

The Lady Pirates (1-0, 1-0 NCMC) will return to action this afternoon for a non-conference game at Canton. Play is set to begin at 4 p.m.