COPLEY — The Copley girls soccer team is off and rolling two matches into the 2019 season on its new synthetic turf surface.
The Indians returned to their home pitch on Wednesday to earn a 5-0 shutout victory over Wadsworth after a 7-0 win over visiting Brecksville on Saturday.
Freshman Emma Stransky and senior Jillian Neal each scored two goals against the Grizzlies for Copley, and senior Maia Ransom contributed one goal.
“There is always room for improvement as the season goes on, but I think we have found that in the attacking third, the attacking half, we can be creative,” Indians coach Wally Senk said.
“We can create opportunities. We have several girls from freshmen all the way to seniors that can create a lot of different avenues or options for us.”
Ransom opened the season with five goals against Brecksville, and senior Amanda Pittman and senior Hannah Parker also each netted a goal for Copley.
“Our work ethic throughout the two games that we have played was pretty good,” Ransom said. “Losing eight seniors to graduation from last year, and coming in here and having four freshmen starting on our team is pretty good and pretty different. We are a very young team.”
Senk’s starting lineup Wednesday featured seniors Ransom, Neal, Pittman and Emily Dente, juniors Carmen Rowe, Madison Lisi and Bridget Milligan and freshmen Stransky, Allie Arnold, Ashley Kerekes and Gabby Niemczura.
Ransom opened the scoring with a goal in the third minute when she took a pass from Stranksy and deposited the ball into the net.
Stransky extended Copley’s advantage to 2-0 with a goal in the 43rd minute after a pass from Lisi, and made it 3-0 with a goal in the 61st minute on a pass from Ransom.
“Our chemistry has improved with the preseason,” Stransky said. “We all got to know each other pretty well through team building and practice. And with that, we were able to make goal-scoring opportunities in the final third.”
Stransky ran over to the Copley bench after both of her goals to hug senior Grace Beck, who is out with a knee injury.
“I know that she is really upset about not being able to play, so I really wanted to give her an opportunity to feel like she was in the game,” Stransky said.
Neal scored her goals in the 69th minute and the 76th minute, and senior Kimmara Yarbrough recorded one assist.
“The team has a lot of chemistry,” Neal said. “... With all the freshmen coming on, all of the seniors have been really helpful because it parallels our freshmen year when we had a lot of freshmen starting, too. We just want to be role models for them, and they have been really coachable.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at email@example.com.