WELLSBURG - The Winfield girls' soccer team began its defense of the West Virginia Class AAA state championship by earning a season-opening victory Friday evening.
The Generals' junior standout Jayne Lawman netted a hat trick and an assist as Winfield defeated host Brooke, 5-1.
The Generals scored two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game, and the visitors from Putnam County never looked back in the Green-and-White affair.
"It was uphill from there," Brooke head coach Lee Weppler said. "They are a great team.
"We had some chances early, but we were unable to capitalize. If we had capitalized, things could have been different. We gave them some easy chances, and they were able to capitalize.
"You have to give them credit. They are a great group of girls. They are hard working. They are extremely fast. They are physically fit."
Sophomore Jordan Pauley and senior Micharae Thompson each netted a goal for the Generals (1-0).
"It was a good first day," Winfield head coach Marshall Hoff said. "It is great to get the win.
"They are always a good team. Coach Lee does a good job. They are well coached. They played us hard for 80 minutes which is good for us. We like coming up here.
"There are always things to polish. There are always things for us to work on. We have six seniors, a couple of juniors, 10 sophomores and nine freshmen.
"We have a young team. They came in and passed the test. They came in ready to play. It is a starting point. There is a lot to work on. We want to get better every time we take the field."
Brooke sophomore goalie Payge Farmer was under siege for most of the game as the Generals controlled the ball on the Bruins' side of the field.
Winfield ended up controlling the game on the stat sheet as well on the scoreboard. The Generals outshot the Bruins, 24-8, and finished with 18 shots on goal to seven for Brooke.
Farmer recorded 13 saves for the Bruins. Senior Braiden Maddox made six saves for the Generals.
Winfield led 3-0 at halftime.
"Our girls played hard in the second half," Weppler said. "We have to move on. We play Buckhannon Upshur tomorrow. They are another good team. They lost in the state semifinals last year.
"We want to get better as the season goes on. Our goal is to make it to the state tournament. We want to win regionals and sectionals. We want to go down there and compete.
"We want to play the best teams in the state. That way we can see what we are made of. We can see where we stand."
Pauley opened the scoring with a goal off of an assist by Lawman with 34:19 left in the first half to give the Generals the early 1-0 lead.
Winfield added to its lead a little more than four minutes later. Lawman received a pass, and she was able to get off a shot but Farmer made the save, however, the rebound bounced back out to Lawman, who fired a shot into the net to give the Generals a 2-0 lead with 30:09 left to play in the first half.
Lawman capped the scoring in the first half on a goal with 19:21 left to play before halftime to extend Winfield's advantage to 3-0.
"These girls are driven," Hoff said. "We won the state championship last season, and these girls want to do it again. They are willing to put in the work to do it."
In the second half, Thompson tallied her goal with 26:58 left to play in the game to put the Generals out in front, 4-0.
Brooke got on the scoreboard when senior captain Michaela Hinerman beat Maddox with a low shot to make the score 4-1 with 15:27 left in the match.
Lawman capped the scoring with her third goal of the game with 10:38 remaining to be played in the contest.
Both teams are scheduled to play again today.
Brooke's game against Buckhannon Upshur is part of a girls' and boy's doubleheader. The start of the girls' game was changed from noon to 11 a.m. The boys' match is slated to start at 1 p.m.
"We have to have a short memory," Weppler said. "I told the girls that. We also play games Monday and Tuesday. We are going to have to be ready.
"We have to be physically fit. We are going to have to be if we want to get down to the state tournament. We have to be ready."
Brooke plays at 5 p.m. Monday against St. Clairsville and at 5 p.m. Tuesday against rival Wheeling Park. Both games are at home.
Winfield is scheduled to play at 10 a.m. today at Wheeling Park.
"They are another tough team," Hoff said. "We are going to have to get up early to come back up here and play a varsity game at 10 a.m. Wheeling Park is well coached. Aubrey Taylor is a great coach. I'm sure he is going to have a very-good team."