PARKERSBURG - Dakota Hoffman scored before the opening minute elapsed on Tuesday as visiting Belpre jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 5-1 victory against Parkersburg Catholic.
The win for the Golden Eagles of head coach Jeff Stanley upped their season mark to 8-4-3 as Belpre swept the season series. Earlier this year, Belpre notched a 5-0 triumph against the Crusaders in a contest that was halted shortly after halftime due to weather.
Despite falling behind quickly on Hoffman's unassisted goal, the Crusaders of head man Shane Hartshorn nearly had the equalizer minutes later. However, a bullet shot in the box by Daniel Ambrozy ricocheted off the top of the crossbar.
Belpre’s Kyle Windland, being pursued by Parkersburg Catholic’s Halie Yeomans, uses his back heel to maneuver the ball as he prepares to change direction during the Golden Eagles’ 5-1 road win versus the Crusaders on Tuesday. (Photo by Jay W. Bennett)
Belpre, which returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday on the road at St. Marys before starting postseason play at home on Monday, dominated action in the first half and sent a plethora of shots at Parkersburg Catholic freshman keeper Matt McCarthy, who finished with a dozen saves.
In the 18th minute of play, Golden Eagle Brennen Ferrell tallied the first of his two goals. Thanks to a pass from Trent Stanley, the junior Ferrell was able to take the ball in the box and pop a shot over the head of McCarthy for a 2-0 advantage.
Just six minutes later, the Crusaders (5-6-4) found themselves trailing 3-0 as Kyle Windland dribbled nearly two-thirds of the pitch and launched a shot from the left side that squeezed inside the far right post.
Parkersburg Catholic's lone corner kick in the first half, taken by Nate Dehmlow, resulted in a shot on goal for teammate Brady Kurucz. However, Kurucz wasn't able to get much on it and the shot was easily saved by keeper Ryan Epperly.
Stanley's assist in the 38th minute to Devin Daniell made it 4-0 at the break. Daniell was able to get a solid foot on the ball as he smoked it inside the left post.
The Crusaders, who play at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Ravenswood, trailed 5-0 after Ferrell's second goal in the 50th minute. Hoffman was able to use his speed to take the ball toward the box and his boot ended up going all the way across the field to the other post and Ferrell was waiting right beside it and just pushed the ball in for an easy goal.
Epperly, who had four saves, was replaced by Cody Storer in the second half. Storer, though, had to leave after getting kicked in the head and Justin Smith finished up for the visitors.
Peter Keiser's unassisted breakaway goal in the 78th minute kept the Crusaders from being shutout.
Earlier in the second half, the Golden Eagles nearly had a double header goal when Smith sent the fourth Belpre corner kick into box. Fernando Delrio got his noggin on it and sent it to Stanley, but it went just high.