The Corinth Holders girls soccer team stepped onto the field for the first time in nearly two weeks on Monday, but there were no signs of rust.
The Pirates controlled the flow of play from the outset against Southern Nash, dominating possession as they rolled to an 8-0 non-conference victory over the visiting Firebirds.
“I was a little skeptical (before the game),” Corinth Holders coach Alison Vetterl said. “The last couple days of last week we were practicing in the gym. And the beginning of last week, we didn’t have any practices. A lot of schools are in the same position.
“We actually came out very strong today. We are really stressing the whole possession thing, getting good touches on the ball, feeding it to the outside and getting it outside-in. That has become our motto and they are really starting to come together after having played only a couple of games.”
The Pirates, who opened the season on Feb. 27 with a competitive effort in a 3-1 loss to Clayton, scored four goals in each half against Southern Nash. Corinth Holders used an edge in team speed and athleticism and strong passing to get quality shots.
Sophomore Taylor Stevens and freshman Ava Daniels had a pair of goals each, and the Pirates got single goals from freshman Summer Mitchell, juniors Allie O’Hara and Bella Iorio and senior Felice Hewitt. Senior Anna Capps and Mitchell had three assists each and Iorio and Stevens each had two.
“We’ve been working on possession, possession, possession,” Capps said. “We have been working on ball movement instead of trying to kick and run. I think it showed out here. We played well as a team tonight.
“This was a good way to come back from the loss to Clayton. It was definitely a good start.”
The contribution of the younger players was key for the Pirates, who joined the new Two Rivers 3A Conference this year after finishing second two straight seasons in the Northern Carolina 2A Conference.
“They have stepped up,” Vetterl said. “We have asked the freshmen and the sophomores to really step up. They are going to make their way into the lineup whether you are starting or not.
“They are really starting to put it together. They all get along. That team chemistry is something we are stressing this year.”
The Pirates broke through in the 13th minute when Hewitt scored on an assist from Stevens. Four minutes later, Stevens took a through ball from Sammi Berumen and ran past the Southern Nash defense to beat the Firebirds keeper and make it 2-0.
Daniels scored a pair of goals in the final 1:15 the first half. She put the ball in the net on assists from Stevens and Mitchell in a flurry in front of the goal, and then pushed the score to 4-0 with a goal with just 11 seconds left in the half on an assist from Iorio.
“I was just making the runs up and looking for the through balls and Anna (Capps) making the through balls and it worked out,” Iorio said. “It feels good to play. It was a long break. I did some things on my own and I talked to the other girls and they were working out too. We all are progressing and we want to go far this season.”
Iorio capped the scoring with a shot from the left side in the 65th minute.