PARKERSBURG - It turned out to be a big Tuesday night not just for host Parkersburg in its Mountain State Athletic Conference girls soccer opener against Capital, but also for Big Red forward Tori Boggs.
The junior Boggs scored a pair of goals to help the red and white to a 2-1 cushion at intermission and finished with her first career hat trick as PHS rolled past the Cougars at Stadium Field, 6-1.
Parkersburg, which returns to action at George Washington on Thursday and then at home for a noon varsity only match Saturday versus Woodrow Wilson, scored in the ninth minute and never looked back after a Raemy Conley feed to Boggs beat Cougar keeper Michelle Newhouse in the lower left corner.
In the 24th minute of action, Tori Wilson found Boggs for her second goal and it appeared PHS was on its way to an easy victory.
However, the Cougars of head coach Jaclyn Johnson continued to fight and in the 37th minute managed to slice the deficit in half. That's when a throw-in by Elaine Barry was headed off the crossbar by Sarah Hawley. Big Red keeper Emma Romanowski tried to get it, but Capital freshman Katie Crowder booted it into the back of the net.
"Just had to keep going with things, keep playing hard," Boggs replied when asked what coach Mike Lockney said to the team at intermission.
Added Boggs of getting solid passes from her teammates to set her up with chances for quality shots on goal she noted, "everyone is working together real nicely as a team."
That team work was quite evident after the break as Boggs got the hat trick in the 45th minute of action after a long lead pass by Wilson resulted in Boggs scorching one into the net just inside the left post.
After that, Wilson added a pair of goals three minutes apart in the 54th and 57th minute thanks to assists from Boggs and Whitnie Pinkston.
Conley put the finishing touch on the big victory in the 76th minute when she scored inside the box, beating Capital keeper Katie Cook, off a Beth Segrest feed.
"Last year's team liked to play with the ball. This year's team likes to shoot," said Lockney, whose squad improved to 3-0-0 while the Cougars dropped to 0-1-1.
"Our organization was good except for a few minutes at the end of the first half where we lost focus, but Capital stepped up and scored."