Whittell girls soccer opens league play with wins over Pershing County, Battle Mountain
ZEPHYR COVE — The Whittell girls soccer team was in complete control as it kicked off league play with two wins last weekend, Sept. 9-10. The Warriors beat Pershing County and Battle Mountain in home games on consecutive days, and did so while refining a more possession-oriented style.
“We’re really focusing on passing around and keeping possession rather than going straight for goal,” Warriors senior Ali Copsy said. “It’s more important how we play on the field than what the scoreboard says.”
Whittell (2-1, 2-0 2A Northern) opened the two-game stretch with a 7-1 win over Pershing County on Friday afternoon, Sept. 9. In the Warriors’ home opener, Copsy had a hat trick while senior Gigi Stetler and sophomore Anna White tallied two goals apiece.
“Coming straight out of school, we had all that energy and were ready to play,” Copsy said. “We just wanted it because it was our first game.”
Stetler opened the scoring Friday with a 15th-minute goal, the first of three for the hosts in seven minutes. Whittell scored four times after the break, and Copsy completed her hat trick in the 79th minute off an assist from sophomore Alize Hernandez.
“There were certain points when we just passed for five minutes and the perfect opportunity happened, so we were able to get the pass, the perfect run and the goal,” Warriors senior Madison Idso said. “It came with a lot of passing and technique.”
On Saturday, Sept. 10, Whittell rode four first-half goals to a 5-1 win over Battle Mountain. The Warriors showed signs of fatigue in the second half, but controlled play against the Longhorns to deliver a second straight win.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the 21st minute Saturday, when sophomore Madison Burch used her elbow to put home a cross from freshman Kyla Rippett. That set off a stretch of four goals in 13 minutes for Whittell, including two from White and a Stetler strike from 25 yards out in the 34th minute.
Battle Mountain got on the board eight minutes into the second half, but only put one shot on goal for the rest of the match. Whittell’s only goal after the break was an own goal courtesy of the Longhorns in the 61st minute.
“We might not get as many goals, but it’s better fundamentally,” Idso said. “I’d rather have really good goals and make the other team tired so they can’t get it back than two teams scoring a lot.”
Whittell returned to action at home Tuesday, Sept. 13, against Dayton. The Warriors host Fernley on Wednesday, Sept. 14 — kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
“We’re going to get better as the season goes on, and I’m really impressed with how we’re doing so far,” Copsy said.