Freshman Jacey Martin scored the first three goals, and four total, in leading the Council Bluffs St. Albert girls past Creston, 8-0, in the 2014 soccer opener for both teams here Monday night.
Martin had a hat trick of three quick goals in the opening 10:14 of the match before Creston’s defense settled in for a 12-minute shutout stretch until the match was halted for 30 minutes because of a lightning sighting.
When play resumed, the Saintes tacked on two additional goals to take a 5-0 lead into halftime.
Jenna Cox and Martin scored in the first 12 minutes of the second half for a 7-0 lead, and Lexi McClung scored the final goal on a penalty kick after a handball call against the Panthers.
Creston’s defense then shut out the Saintes the final 21 minutes of the match, but the Panthers could not launch a scoring threat.
The two long periods of 0-0 standoffs in each half encouraged Creston coach Kim Lauffer about her inexperienced squad.
“I’d like to be able to push one of our midfielders up and have three up top,” Lauffer said. “That would be beneficial. Without Brenna (Baker), we’re still trying to learn the flat-four defensive formation with just Hanna Luther being experienced back there. I thought Alyssa Higgins did a fantastic job in the middle of the defense with Hanna in her first ever game. Once they got used to it, the pressure idea started to make sense and they could play their zones better.”
Senior goalkeeper Sadie Jones had a busy night, making 21 saves against 29 shots on goal, including a leaping punch that sent the ball over the crossbar on a high shot in the first half.
“Sadie was stopping most of them,” Lauffer said. “I saw a lot of things out there to be encouraged about, things we can work on in practice now. The girls were getting shoved around a lot and kept a good attitude going.”
There isn’t much time to work on adjustments, however, as the Panthers travel to Harlan today for JV-varsity action. St. Albert, coming off an 18-3 season, hosts Denison-Schleswig Friday in the second match of its first Hawkeye 10 season.
C.B. St. Albert 8, Creston 0
Creston (0) — Shots on goal — 0. Keeper saves — Sadie Jones 21.
St. Albert (8) — Jacey Martin (Felicia Roppe assist), 37:03 first half; Martin (Lexi McClung assist), 33:13 first half; Martin (Miranda Beezley assist), 29:46 first half; Roppe (Jen Reew assist), 6:56 first half; Emily Rindone, 2:40 first half; Jenna Cox (Roppe assist), 37:28 second half; Martin (McClung assist), 28:20 second half; McClung PK, 21:50 second half. Shots on goal — 29. Saves — 0.