Brooke girls cruise past Weir

WELLSBURG – The Brooke and Weir girls’ soccer teams have played many memorable games throughout the years.

The Bruins and Red Riders both have recorded big wins against each other through the years whether during the regular season, the OVAC Tournament or in the postseason. Brooke has had the better of things as of late, and the Bruins played another strong all-around game Thursday evening as the Bruins defeated the Red Riders, 7-1, at Brooke.

“It was a good day,” Brooke (4-0-1) head coach Lee Weppler said. “We possessed the ball well, and we had a lot of good buildups from the back.”

Three players scored goals to lead the way offensively for the Bruins.

Sophomore Leila Hannaoui netted a hat trick, and juniors Mekenzie DeFranco and Cheyenne Hudson each delivered two goals for the victors.

“It is what it is,” Weir (0-3) head coach Jessica Naughton said. “Cheyenne Hudson and Leila Hannaoui controlled the game. Those two work well together. They are tough to play against. They know how to give and go. They pass the ball to each other and two their teammates.

“Lee is a lucky guy.”

Junior Payge Farmer recorded two assists for the victors, and sophomore Emily Bernadini, junior Michaela Valero and senior Jessie Wayne each tallied an assist.

The Bruins outshot the Red Riders, 27-2. The Bruins ripped 11 shots on goal, while Weir recorded just one, but that one ended up in the back of the net.

Hanna Dragonir recorded the lone goal of the game for the Red Riders on a penalty kick in the second half.

“Our kids stayed in it,” Naughton said. “It is a bad loss. We did pass the ball well. You have to take the good with the bad. Our girls didn’t give up.”

Dragonir also scored a goal on a penalty kick in Weir’s season-opening loss at home to Fairmont Senior on Aug. 22 at Jimmy Carey Stadium. The Polar Bears edged the Red Riders, 2-1, in that contest.

Brooke used two goalies in the game. Farmer started the game before being replaced by senior Andrea Jenkins. Neither collected a save. Farmer faced one shot in the first half, and that shot sailed over the goal. Jenkins allowed a goal on the only shot she faced in the second half – Dragonir’s penalty kick.

Weir goalie Alyssa Kelly made seven saves.

“Their goalie played a great game,” Weppler said. “She made some saves that were close to being spectacular. She came off of her line when she needed to. She played a good game. She made some saves on some shots that normally would go in for us.”

Brooke took seven goal kicks in the game, while Weir took 13. The Bruins took three corner kicks. The Red Riders did not have one.

“This is one game I do not have to motivate the girls a lot for,” Weppler said. “They are all friends. They all like each other. They enjoy playing against each other. It is a fun game to play.”

Hudson delivered her first goal of the game less than four minutes into the match to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage with 36:48 left to play in the first half.

Brooke extended its lead to two goals when Hannaoui found the back of the net for the first time with 24:14 showing on the scoreboard clock.

Hannaoui struck again almost 11 minutes later as her second tally of the contest made the score 3-0 with 13:37 left to play before halftime.

Hannaoui completed her hat trick with her third goal of the game with 3:42 still to be played in the first half.

DeFranco scored the first two goals of the second half to give Brooke a 6-0 advantage with a little more than 22 minutes left to play in the game.

Dragonir put the Red Riders on the scoreboard with PK goal with 16:53 left to play in the game.

Hudson made it 7-1 with her second goal of the game.

This one came with under 10 minutes to play.

“We have a couple of days before our next game,” Naughton said. “We are going to get back at it.

“This is a rivalry. The kids all know each other. They have grown up playing with and against each other. Mikayla Zias said, ‘I hate not liking them.’

“It stinks that we lost.”

Brooke won the final OVAC Cup Tournament last season, and as a result the Bruins are a marked team. The Brooke coaches and players know they are going to get everyone’s best shot.

“We are playing good soccer right now, so everyone wants to knock us off,” Weppler said. “We know every game we are going to get our opponent’s best game. That is going to make us a better team.”

Thursday’s game was the first meeting between Brooke and Weir this season.

The Bruins and Red Riders are scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Jimmy Carey Stadium.

Both teams are scheduled to play Saturday on the road. Brooke will play at 10 a.m. at University, while Weir will play at noon at Indian Creek at Muth Field in Mingo Junction.