Patriots shutout Huntington, 3-0

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South senior Zakeya Whyte tries to make a run while Huntington’s Grace Spears gives chase during the Patriots’ 3-0 victory Thursday evening at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

PARKERSBURG — Audrie Leasure’s goal in the 38th minute was all Parkersburg South needed here Thursday at the Erickson All-Sports Facility during senior night, but head coach Ron Bucholz’ Patriots finished off visiting Huntington via a 3-0 shutout.

After the break, Samara Nunn tacked on two goals as the top-ranked Patriots improved to 16-1-2 and will return to the pitch at 1 p.m. Saturday with a varsity only affair back at the friendly confines of the EASF.

Patriot keeper Reganne Dailey made three saves to post her first career shutout. Highlander keeper Jordan Maynard also played solid in goal and finished with a baker’s dozen saves.

“Of course, senior night is always special,” admitted Bucholz, who watched Leasure get honored at halftime along with twin sister Callie as well as Jordan Huffman, Kathryn Bowers, Lauren Gerrard, Hannah McKain, Riley Pigott, Charley Taylor and Zakeya Whyte. “We’ve got a good group of seniors. They certainly will be missed.

“Not just because they are very good players, but because they are good young kids and I wish them well for their future. They played a whale of a game. The whole team played beautifully. We controlled the tempo and the possession and passing was outstanding.”

Whyte had a pair of shots on goal early on, but couldn’t beat Maynard. In the 8th minute, Huffman drilled one off the crossbar.

Taylor then managed to settle it with her chest and booted it into the back of the net, but it went for naught as she was called offside. Pigott’s cross nearly resulted in a Whyte tally in the 12th minute.

Huntington (7-6-2) had its first chance in the 17th minute thanks to a Claire Burberry cross, but Dailey was able to gobble it up.

Parkersburg South, which couldn’t convert on any of its seven corner kicks, was thwarted for most of the first half by the Highlanders’ back line featuring Jalen Nicely, Grace Spears, Faith Worrell and Tennia Dennis.

In the middle of the pitch, Audrie Leasure unleashed a shot of 25-plus yards, which a leaping Maynard was able to get her hand on, but it still went into the back of the net to give the hosts the 1-0 advantage with 2:19 left in the half.

Just 20 ticks into the second half, Whyte thought she had a goal, but it wasn’t meant to be as her shot drilled the right post. Highlander Sophie Aya-ay made a run in the 50th minute and sent a cross into the box, but nothing materialized.

Huffman did the same thing with Taylor in the 53rd minute, but Maynard was there to clear any danger. Soon thereafter, Nunn found Taylor, but her shot was saved by Maynard.

Finally, in the 58th minute, Huffman got the ball ahead to Nunn, who finished for the 2-0 advantage.

Although Aya-ay had a couple more shots on goal, Dailey wasn’t going to be denied her clean slate.

Audrie Leasure nearly had a second goal in the 56th minute, but it too caromed off the right post. An Audrie Leasure corner kick was nearly booted in by Jessie Life in the 69th minute before Pigott assisted on Nunn’s second goal in the 71st minute.