The River Rats are enjoying some home cooking.
After two tough road games – against Skyline and Saline – the Huron girls’ soccer team enjoyed a second straight home game on the turf Monday and blanked visiting Temperance Bedford 8-0.
It was not only an easy win, but it gave Huron Coach Lee Hudson a chance to expand his roster and get some valuable playing time for a number of younger players.
“I was able to call up eight JV players for the game due to Bedford not being able to field a JV team this year,” Hudson said. “It gave my JV players a chance to play at the varsity level and me a chance to see what they could do.”
With the varsity unit on the field, Tina Galia gave the hosts a quick 1-0 lead. Victoria Hutchings hit a great shot from about 20 yards out that went up and over the Bedford keeper to make it 2-0.
Emma Chang then made a great run from midfield to give the River Rats a 3-0 lead.
“At this point I was able to get in all my JV players and had them all on the field at the same time,” Hudson said. “It was a great feeling for many of the girls to finally get their shot at playing on the varsity team. What’s great about our Huron program is we set our JV team and varsity teams to play the same style and formation as each other. This way, when JV players come into the varsity team they’re already comfortable with the formation and tactics we are using. The only difference is the players around them.”
The half ended with Huron leading 3-0 and with the JV team seeing out the half with a shutout.
Hudson put the varsity players back in the game in the second half and the offense really got things cranking. Galia scored her second to make it 4-0; Kailynn Barton got a great tap in at the back post from a Minna Tremonti cross to make it 5-0; and Autumn Halliwill made a great solo run and hit a shot off the right post and in for a 6-0 lead.
A few minutes later, a Huron corner was not cleared and it fell to Hutchings on the edge of the 18-yard box and she buried it in the back of the net to kick the lead to 7-0 with 25 minutes to go.
Halliwill finished the scoring and the game with her second goal to make it 8-0 with 20 minutes left in the game.
“Bedford has an outstanding goalkeeper who kept them in the game longer and made a string of very good saves,” Hudson said. “However, with the work we have done with our strikers since the Saline and Skyline game, things are now starting to click and players are building relationships on the field. Our strikers are now reading each other’s movement and knowing where to go without verbally communicating to each other. This type of understanding between the players is going to be key.”
The win over Bedford followed an 8-0 win at home over Monroe. And the goals came early and often for the River Rats.
In the opening minute, a corner off the foot of Galia was headed in by Kira Pierson to make it 1-0. And Huron was off and scoring…
Kailynn Barton turned a nice individual run into a 2-0 lead. Chang scored her first goal of the season for a 3-0 lead. New varsity player Kristen Clyde hit a 25-yard rocket which ended up in the top corner of the goal for a 4-0 advantage.
A ball that was loose in the box after a corner resulted in an own goal by Monroe and then Halliwill scored to push the lead to 6-0.
Jess Barker converted a great cross with a first-time volley to make it 7-0 just before the end of the first half.
“The second half gave us a chance to work on a few things with different players, moving people around and trying to build our way from the goalkeeper to the striker effectively,” Hudson said. “It took us 20 minutes to get the final eighth goal after some great passing combinations resulted in a Halliwill goal.