Defense fuels Hawks’ soccer to playoff win
Over the last two weeks, the Blackville-Hilda High Hawks has evidently bought into theory that defense wins soccer games.
An eye-opening performance by senior keeper Joseph Staley and his teammates was evident May 8 in a 5-0 win over Ridge Spring-Monetta High.
In that game, Staley corralled five saves as the Hawks kept the Trojans on the scoreboard.
On Friday in the opening round of the class A playoffs, the Hawks clawed down on another opponent as they downed the Warriors of Whale Branch High by a score of 2-0.
Blackville-Hilda High, which advances to the second round of the playoffs for the fifth year in a row, has scored shutouts in three of their last four games.
Staley has been the leading force on defense as he's led the team with 17 saves, including seven in the game against Whale Branch High.
Also stepping up defensively were Chris Boiser, Noah Villalobos, Kevonte Kinard, Travis Butler, Ricky Williams, Carl Williams, Austin Holder and Christian Sanders.
Blackville-Hilda High coach Andrew Gaddy said the team has turned it on during the last couple of weeks.
"Right now, we're playing our best soccer at the right time of the season," Gaddy said.
"The team went out and fought really hard today. Defensively, we continue to be solid. Offensively, we were persistent and we played well as a unit."
Despite the play of the defense, the Hawks' offensive unit has been just as stellar. At the 18th-minute of the first half, senior Andrea Jones opened the scoring by blasting a shot into the vacant net about 20 yards away.
The defense grudge match persisted until Jaloni Jones doubled the advantage at the 28th-minute in the second half when he bounced the ball over the out-stretched hands of the Warriors' keeper.
"We have high hopes for the playoffs. Hopefully we can continue to play this well," Gaddy said.
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