By Wade Linville –
The Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Blue Jays had little trouble taking down the Williamsburg Wildcats in the Sept. 11 match at Ripley.
It was a non-league match that saw the Jays gain control early on, en route to a 4-0 win.
The Jays came out firing away at the goal. The Jays’ first attack came just one minute into the match as junior forward Ryan Mitchell delivered a pass to sophomore Montrez McGill who missed just wide on a shot from close range.
Another shot by McGill was saved by the Williamsburg goalkeeper with 37:30 to go in the first half of play, and later it was Ripley senior Dalton England just missing on a shot that bounced off the crossbar but failed to find its way into the net.
Excellent defense by Ripley’s Josiah Staggs (senior), Matthew Marshall (junior), Corey Germann (junior), and Joseph Blum (junior) limited the Wildcats to very few shots on goal in the first half with the Blue Jays’ junior goalkeeper Jaki Royal seeing little action early on.
With the clock closing in on the midway point in the first half, shots by McGill and junior teammate Tristan Finn were deflected by the Williamsburg goalie, but persistence would eventually pay off for the Jays.
With 7:09 to go in the first half it was Mitchell driving a sliding shot to the back of the net for the first goal of the night, putting the Jays on top 1-0.
With just over five minutes to go in the first half, Finn scored on a direct penalty kick after the Wildcats were called for tripping in the box during a Blue Jay attack. Finn’s goal expanded the Ripley lead to 2-0 before halftime break.
Excitement picked up for Royal in the second half, and the Ripley goalie was finally able to show off his skills while grabbing several excellent saves and moving out to clear Williamsburg attacks.
On the other end of the field, the Blue Jay offense worked to expand on their lead.
Finn scored his second goal on the night with 14:24 to go in the second half to lift the Jays to a 3-0 lead.
A goal by England with 12:30 to play capped off scoring for the night.