Prep girls soccer : Salisbury 3, West Davidson 0

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 8, 2011

By Jake Miller
The Lexington Dispatch
TYRO ó Salisbury and West Davidson have fought more than a few close, intense, physical battles over the past few seasons in girls’ soccer.
This one was physical and intense, but it wasn’t close.
The undefeated Hornets scored twice in the first 20 minutes to seize the game and defeat the Green Dragons 3-0 at Glosson Stadium on Friday in Central Carolina Conference action. Salisbury leading scorer Karen Presnell scored once but was menacing throughout the game despite a close watch by West’s Mo Yarboro.
“We knew it was going to be a physical contest,” Salisbury (9-0-2 overall, 4-0 CCC) coach Matt Parrish said. “Yesterday when I was addressing the kids, I told the seniors, ‘The only team that has consistently brought it to you, and has taken almost as many as they’ve given, is this West Davidson squad.’ So the girls were ready for it.”
Presnell started the game in defense — a move to anticipate Yarboro’s mark of her, Parrish said — but eventually joined the attack. Fifteen minutes in, she lost possession at the top of the West box and ball bounced to Kate Grant, who volleyed from outside the box into the goal’s top-right corner for a 1-0 lead.
“The first goal we gave up, I felt like we didn’t challenge (Grant) at all, but she hit it and it was a hell of a shot,” West (8-5, 1-2) coach Chris Brown said.
Four minutes later, Whitney Brown lined up a free kick from left side, about 30 yards from goal, and placed it again in the top-right corner, just past the grasp of West goalkeeper Angena LeBarre.
LeBarre stoned Presnell one-on-one just before halftime, but the Hornets retained a 2-0 lead at the break.
West looked more lively after halftime but the Hornets added another in the 52nd minute. Presnell, who will play at Catawba next season, collected the ball on left sideline, cut inside of her mark and hit a right-footed shot that grazed the underside of the crossbar on its way in.
LeBarre denied Presnell a second in the 66th minute when Presnell met Madison Kennedy’s low cross from the right with an inventive flick of the heel at the near post.
Brown sent Yarboro up top alongside Callie Wynn with 15 minutes to go and the two combined a few times, but Salisbury goalkeeper Olivia Rankin was never terribly troubled. For the most part, Kennedy controlled the game in central midfield.
“We were a lot better second half than we were first half. I don’t know if it was because of fatigue from them or we felt a little more comfortable with our marks or what,” Brown said. “Their 15 (Kennedy) and 5 (Jenna Bryan), I think 15 is the best player on the field, even though Presnell is more in the attack, 15 works a lot.”
For the most, however, whenever the freshman Wynn, West’s leading scorer, found the ball, she also discovered three or four black shirts around her.
“We managed to hold her without a shot, which says a lot for Taylor Slate and Whitney Brown and Susannah Dixon,” Parrish said. “It’s hard to mark someone when they move laterally as much as they do vertically.”
The Green Dragons host Central Davidson on Monday. Salisbury is home to Lexington the same day.