How good are the Union soccer Lady ’Cats?
Good enough to take their annual fixture with rival Borgia and come out with a 6-0 victory Tuesday night in Washington.
The Lady ’Cats (3-0) dominated most aspects of Tuesday’s contest at Borgia (1-1) while picking up their second shutout in as many nights.
“The girls played really well,” Union Head Coach Matt Fennessey said. “They stuck with our game plan, played within their strengths and played really well.”
For Borgia, the season opener for Grant Kang, in his first season back as the team’s head coach after Jeff Hill’s two-year run, proved to be a chance to try different players in different spots to try to find good combinations.
“Union has a great team,” Kang said. “They play with great heart. It was a very good test for us that allowed us to see our strengths and weaknesses.”
In recent years, the early season fixture has ended with the teams having to settle matters on penalty kicks. The last time the teams played in the district finals last season, it went to sudden-victory overtime.
But no extra time was needed Tuesday as Union settled the matter early.
“It’s just one game and one win,” Fennessey said. “Hopefully, we’ve got a bunch more to go. The girls played well.”
For the second consecutive game, Union scored four goals in the first half. And the goals weren’t simple, either.
Senior Alyssa Coons led the Union attack with her second successive hat trick. The St. Charles Community College recruit scored twice in the first half and once in the second half.
Sophomores Bethany Coons and Kaylyn Bigley and junior Kayla Thornton scored one goal apiece.
“It was fun to watch,” Fennessey said. “It’s fun to see them doing this well early on. We’ve just got to keep on keeping on.”
Bethany Coons, a 55-goal scorer last season, scored one of the game’s prettiest goals in the 29th minute when she hit a long shot from the left side which looped into the upper right corner.
“Bethany scored an awesome goal from the left side,” Fennessey said. “Alyssa Coons did a great job finishing those couple of early goals. Kaylyn Bigley had a big goal from 18 yards out.”
Borgia had two strong scoring chances in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Briana Lakebrink made one diving save and senior defender Abbie Brack cleared another chance off the line.
“Bri Clark did a fantastic job in the middle of the field,” Fennessey said. “Kaylyn Bigley played another great game for us. She’s like a tank. She keeps taking hits and dishing the ball out. Briana made a nice save to preserve the shutout and Abbie cleared one off the line.”
Union cruised to a 10-0 win Wednesday at North County. The Lady ’Cats led 7-0 at halftime.
Bethany Coons scored five goals in the contest, all in the first half.
“North County was trying to run an offside trap against us and it just didn’t work,” Fennessey said. “We were able to find Bethany getting behind the defense pretty easily. Four out of the five goals were breakaways where she just had to place it in the side of the net.”
Alyssa Coons and Alicia Brueggemann both added one goal and one assist.
Kaila AuBuchon, Natalie Helling and Kayla Thornton also scored.
Taylor Gaebe and Kaylyn Bigley both registered two assists. Abbie Brack, Bri Clark and Emily Nowak each had one assist.
Lakebrink made two saves and registered the shutout in goal.
“The best part of this game for me was the shutout. We have put together three in the first week of games,” Fennessey said. “Hopefully this is the beginning of a little run in terms of shutting teams out.”