Two games into the season and the Hannibal girls’ soccer team has yet to be scored on. After shuting out Marshall in its season opener on Saturday, the Lady Pirates won their first non-conference game on Wednesday, routing visiting Canton 10-0 at the Veterans Field Sports Complex.
It took just 18 seconds for the Lady Pirates to take their first lead of the game. Following introductions, Hannibal’s Bri Johnson stole the ball  from Canton and took it straight down the right side of the field and scored the games opening goal unassisted.
“I was excited about that,” Johnson said. “Coach is going to look and see if it was a record.
“I really, honestly, thought it would be awesome,” Johnson said of scoring so quick. “I really want to be on that (record holders) board at the high school. I just cut around a few girls, let it rip and it went in.”
Hannibal coach Eric Hill was pleased to see his team putting to work a new plan of attack that is being worked on this season.
“That was obviously very quick when we didn’t start with the ball,” Hill said. “One thing we are focusing on this year, from the start of the game when the other team has it, a lot of the times the other teams aren’t real sure what they want to do with the ball. What we want to do is put a lot of high pressure on them. The first couple of games when we have done that, it has forced the turnover right away and given us goal scoring opportunities right at the beginning of the game. The girls are doing a nice job with the high pressure and it paid off today.”
Hannibal’s offense put such a constant attack on Canton, it was just over 10 minutes into the game before Canton was able to get the ball across midfield onto Hannibal’s defense.
As quick as Hannibal’s first goal came, the second took a bit longer. Freshman Emily Albright doubled the Lady Pirates’ lead with an unassisted goal. The goal was Albright’s first varsity goal.
Following the second goal, Hannibal’s offense picked up the scoring pace. Bailey Welch increased the Lady Pirates’ lead to 3-0 less than five minutes later on Hannibal’s third unassisted goal. Then, with 13:57 remaining, freshman Cara Cook picked up her first goal to make it 4-0.
Albright recorded her second goal of the first half with 12:04 left on the clock to give Hannibal a 5-0 lead.
After recording a hat trick in the season’s junior varsity opener, Lucy Roisum became the third Hannibal player to pick up her first varsity goal. Roisum scored with with 2:01 left on the clock to give the Lady Pirates a 6-0 lead.  
That’s where the score remained at the intermission. Hannibal took 23 shots in the first half, 13 of them coming on goal. The Lady Pirates took six corner kicks, but did not score on any of them. Five different players scored goals in the first half for Hannibal.
On defense, Hannibal goalkeeper Kaitlyn Edge had three first half saves.
Kendal Welch joined the scoring-fray in the second half with an unassisted goal to give Hannibal a 7-0 lead with 29:49 left in the game.
After playing the junior varsity for about half of the second half, Hill put the varsity starters back in with nine minutes and change left in the game. Johnson quickly picked up her second goal when she scored with 7:46 left.
Johnson collected Hannibal’s first assist when she passed the ball to Raylynn Charlton who found the back of Canton’s net with 4:02 left in the game. Charlton’s goal put Hannibal one point away from ending the game early. Not even 30 seconds later, the Lady Pirates ended the game when Lauren Wheelan scored the 10th goal of the game with 3:35 left in the game.
According to Missouri State High School Activities Association rules, if a team takes a 10 point lead at any time in the second half, the game is automatically over.
Over the course of the 76 minutes and 25 seconds, Hannibal piled up 43 total shots with 22 of them coming on goal.
“Coach told us multiple times we are going to have to start working on finishing,” Johnson said. “Forwards are going to have to start working together, outside and center-mids   have all got to start working together at finishing. We are getting great crosses in and corner kicks from Kendal Welch and we have just to all put them in.”
Hannibal also had eight total corner kicks. Eight different players scored goals while Johnson and Albright were the only two players with multiple goals.
“That is good for us to have so many girls able to score,” Johnson said. “They are not keying in on one player like last year with Theresa (Sheffer) there that everyone keyed on. This year we are going to have tons of girls that are going to be able to put it in the back of the net and (opponents) can’t block all of us.”
Hill was pleased to see so many players score.
“Right now if anyone else is trying to follow along on our stats, it is not an easy situation for the other teams to scout us,” Hill said. “They are going to have to actually see us to be able to scout us.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Hannibal kept the ball and did not give Canton many scoring opportunities.
“Our defense is good this year,” Johnson said. “We were all a little concerned without Catherine, but we have Paige (Utterback) who is back there this year  instead of at center-mid and she is showing she is back there for a reason and Abby Conn is stepping up at sweeper this year. Ashley (Wilson) and Jordan (Lee) are back again and they have been there fortwo year. The defense is doing well and we are growing more as a team. We were concerned that we weren’t going to be as good as last year, but we are showing them that we can be just as good.”
When the Lady Tigers were able to get a chance, Edge was there to snuff it out. The Hannibal goalkeeper finished the night with five saves. Edge now has two shutouts to open the season.
Hannibal is now 2-0 on the season. The Lady Pirates will return to conference play tonight when Hannibal travels to Kirksville for a game. As for Canton, the Lady Tigers’ loss was their season opener.