Another game, another win, another shutout for the Hannibal girls’ soccer team. The latest victim of the Lady Pirates was Canton, whom Hannibal beat 4-0 Friday night.
“We have played on a surface we are not used to,” Hannibal coach Eric Hill said. “We got another win and we got the shutout. That is what is important. Three games in we have scored 17 goals and given up none. The competition is going to start getting a little bit stiffer, but they all know and they are looking forward to it.”
Hannibal jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first half and then added one more goal in the second half to beat Canton in a game that was originally supposed to be played Tuesday, Mar. 19, but was postponed due to weather.
One night after Raylynn Charlton and Theresa Sheffer both netted multiple goals, Bri Johnson turned the trick Friday. Johnson scored once in the first half and again in the second half.
“Bri (Johnson) struggled with her touch at times tonight,” Hill said. “But, she was able to do it when it counts and she put a couple of goals in for us. ... She is doing a good job for us offensively. She is willing to learn and is working hard at it.”
Johnson got the scoring started during the 5th minute of the first half when Meghan Grimes sent a pass that Johnson was able to score of off.
“That is a combination I love to see,” Hill said. “We have talked about this year getting our outside mids involved and that was an outside mid fielder scoring on a pass from the another outside mid. Meghan (Grimes) got the ball on the left wing and got the ball to the corner and kicked a nice ball across to Bri (Johnson) who made a good run in to the far post and knocked it in. It was a nice connection to see those two on that one.”
Paige Utterback made it 2-0 when she scored an unassisted goal in the 25th minute. Just four minutes later, the Lady Pirates scored their final goal of the first half off a corner kick. Sheffer took the kick and booted it towards the Canton goal where Jordan Lee used her head to knock it into the goal.
The game stayed 3-0 in favor of Hannibal for the rest of the first half.
“They (the Lady Pirates) were a little bit down at halftime,” Hill said. “They didn’t feel like they were playing very well and they were getting frustrated with their touch. I think that is attributed to we have just been on turf and we need to get used to playing on grass. ... But, by the end of the game their spirits were better.”
The Lady Pirates picked up their final goal of the game during the 79th minute when Johnson closed out the day’s scoring with freshman Kendal Welch picking up the assist.
“Kendal Welch, a freshman sub, had the assist,” Hill said. “She had the final goal last night (Thursday) and she played well again tonight.”
Once again, Hannibal’s goal keeper Kaitlyn Edge was an afterthought. The third-year starting goal keeper notched her third win and third shutout of the season.
“She (Edge) did come out off the line today and make a couple of good saves,” Hill said. “Canton has a couple of good players. ... We are hoping to play at Boonville on Monday and we will be counting on her (Edge) to come up big for us because Boonville has some real good players.”
Hannibal (3-0) will have the weekend off before returning to the field on Monday when the Lady Pirates travel to Boonville to face their third North Central Missouri Conference foe in just over a week.
“Hopefully we can get the Boonville game in on Monday,” Hill said. “We don’t know what is going on with the weather, but we are ready to go play another game and another conference team. These girls get more amped up for those conference games.”