Mike Albertson prides himself on defense and the Williamstown soccer program has taken the coach's philosophy to task.
Two full weeks into the season, the Yellowjackets have allowed just three goals while maintaining a perfect 6-0 record.
"I'm a former keeper and that's why my strategy is building strong in the back and work my way up," Albertson said. "I'm trying to instill into the kids about playing good, strong defense and they have bought into that."
Williamstown posted its third shutout of the season on Tuesday after defeating South Harrison, 1-0. After watching his daughter play four seasons with the Yellowjackets then taking over as head coach last year, Albertson can't recall the last time Williamstown won in Lost Creek.
"I felt very confident going into the season, but until you actually play games you don't know how a team is going to mesh," Albertson said. "The kids are obviously gaining confidence and are pleased with the results, but they also realize they have a long way to go - that they can't sit back and rest."
One reason for their success is Garret Butler, who moved from stopper to keeper following the 2011 campaign. The senior also is a member of the school's football program at placekicker.
Albertson also is proud of the way his line of defense has performed with Evan Fowler, Gearick Watt, Mitchell Goertler and Joe Buckley.
Offensively, the team is led in scoring by senior captains Jarric Hoskins and Josh Walters. Midfielder Brandon Semon, along with Butler and Fowler, round out the five Williamstown captains.
Since Williamstown does not field a separate girls team, individuals like seniors Tori Poole and Megan Steele must contend with their male counterparts on the pitch. Both are outstanding athletes in their own right. Poole competes on the swim team, while Steele won a state title in the high jump as a sophomore before placing runner-up in Charleston this past spring.
Albertson puts heavy emphasis on the contributions of his senior class, which also includes Alex Gedon and Ryan Martin. Gedon is recovering from a broken collarbone and could be back in action as early as next week when the Yellowjackets travel to Ravenswood on Tuesday followed by just its second home match on Thursday against Tyler Consolidated.
"Historically, Ravenswood and Tyler Consolidated are the stronger teams in West Virginia soccer," Albertson said.
A 1-0 loss to Point Pleasant in a sectional final last year left a bitter taste for a Williamstown squad which ended the campaign at 13-6-1.
The Yellowjackets have not allowed more than one goal in a match this season. At the same time, their offense has produced an average of 3.2 goals per outing.
"Historically, Williamstown soccer has been able to score goals, but we just couldn't prevent other teams from scoring more," Albertson said. "I know we can score goals, but our main emphasis is on preventing the other team from scoring."