The Hannibal girls soccer team was in control from the opening kick Thursday en route to a 4-0 win over conference foe Kirksville at Porter Stadium.

After two postponements, the Hannibal girls soccer team finally took to the pitch Thursday evening.

The Lady Pirates controlled the match from the opening kick en route to a 4-0 win over North Central Missouri Conference foe Kirksville at Porter Stadium.

“It was good to just get out on the field and see someone other than ourselves,” Hannibal coach Eric Hill said. 

Shelby Stine opened the scoring in the fourth minute of the contest with a rebound goal from just inside the right edge of the goalie box.

Hannah Nichols found the back of the net with a strong kick from 31 yards away for a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute.

Chloe Ebers added a score eight minutes later, as the Lady Pirates carried a 3-0 lead into the intermission.

Kaylee Falconer capped the scoring with a goal in the first minute of the second half.

“It’s pretty cool that we were able to have four different girls score the four goals tonight,” Stine said. “We just work hard as a team to make that happen and we don’t mind sharing the spotlight.”

The Lady Pirates controlled the match on the offensive end and finished with 19 shots on goal. Kirksville only managed to put one shot on Lady Pirate keeper Shelby Nelson. 

“The scoring chances they did have came off our mistakes,” Hill said. “But I was pleased with the way our defenders snuffed out those chances.” 

The veteran coach was also pleased with the way his defenders stepped up to help the Lady Pirates attack on offense.

Nichols and Ebers are both defenders who played a vital role on offense Thursday.

“We talk a lot about getting Chloe (Ebers), who is playing that stopper spot, and getting our outside backs like Hannah (Nichols) and Abby Baumann up into attack more,” Hill stated. “It was nice to see them step up tonight and get two goals. With them up, it gives us more numbers to attack and makes it harder for the opposing team to mark everything up.”

Thursday's win was also impressive because the Lady Pirates were without the services of midfielder Peyton Utterback. The sophomore suffered an ankle injury Wednesday night during club volleyball practice. 

Second-year player Payton Frick stepped up to fill the void.

“We just found out late Wednesday night we would be without her,” Stine said of Utterback, who was a double-digit goal scorer last season. “But Payton Frick stepped up and played well for someone who is only playing in her second season. She’s had to learn a new spot really quickly and she stepped up well.”

Hill mentioned Utterback will be in a walking boot “for a while” and hopes she can return later in the season.

Hannibal returns to the pitch Monday as it travels to Boonville for a clash with the defending NCMC champions.

“I thought tonight served as a good first game to get our bearings collected before a tough match on Monday,” the Lady Pirates coach said.