Lady Saints cruise in home opener

Published 9:25 pm Monday, March 21, 2011

Nansemond-Suffolk freshman Darcy King scored a hat trick, netting three of NSA’s four second-half goals in a 5-0 win over visiting Portsmouth Christian Monday afternoon. The Lady Saints (2-1) opened their season in North Carolina playing Currituck Friday and Cape Hatteras Saturday.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls soccer squad made it three matches and two victories, in two states, to open its season with a 5-0 win against visiting Portsmouth Christian Monday afternoon.

The Lady Saints (2-1) started their schedule with a mini-barnstorming tour of northeastern North Carolina Friday and Saturday. NSA lost 5-0 at Currituck Friday evening, stayed the night in Nags Head, then beat Cape Hatteras 7-0 Saturday.

In the home opener against the Lady Patriots, junior midfielder Camila Holm got NSA out in front just before halftime, and freshman forward Darcy King scored a hat trick in the second half, making for an easy win and 12 unanswered Lady Saint goals so far this season.

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“We have a very young team,” said NSA head coach Sue Starkey, “so the trip was a really nice way for everyone on the team to get to know each other.”

King, who played a major goal-scoring role last season as an eighth-grader, is one of five freshmen, all of whom were playing key spots in Monday’s contest. Kaylor Nash is the defensive leader at center back. Morgan Davis logged lots of minutes and miles playing left midfielder. Hannah Starkey is a center midfielder. Emily Leverone moved between attacking positions and scored NSA’s fourth goal of the day.

The opening minutes signaled a fairly even contest. As the game settled into a more controlled pace, the Lady Saints began dominating possession.

King nearly put the Lady Saints on the board 14 minutes into the match. Starting from an NSA free kick, taken by Leverone from near the right sideline, King controlled Leverone’s cross and banged a 15-yard shot off the right upright.

NSA kept the attacks coming at a steady pace, and it paid off late in the first half.

Sophomore midfielder Kelly Crossman broke on the dribble down the right sideline and sent a cross through the box. No one was there for Crossman’s pass, but King chased it down outside the left side of the PC box. King passed toward the top of the box, setting up Holm to loft a right-footed shot over the keeper and into the net.

Portsmouth Christian forced NSA keeper Meredith Deluca into four saves in the early stages of the first half. The Lady Saints went on to outshoot PC 15-0 in the second half.

“We’re getting there. Our possession is good, but we‘re still not quite connecting with everything like we need to,” Starkey said.

“I’m fortunate to have a few girls who play year around, but everyone came in in shape this season and I’m tickled with that,” she said.

The Lady Saints broke the game open with a pair of goals, about 70 seconds apart, in the 48th and 49th minutes.

Starkey, with a perfect pass behind the PC backs, sent King sprinting in one-on-one against the keeper for a 2-0 NSA lead. Kate Flintoff teamed with King inside the PC box for a 3-0 lead practically straight off the ensuing kickoff.

Leverone booted in a right-footed shot from just beyond the penalty spot, coming via a give-and-go with Holm moving down the right wing, to make it 4-0.

King completed the hat trick with less than two minutes left, scoring with a 30-yard chip from outside the top right corner of the box.

The Lady Saints still won’t have much chance to rest, as they will make it four matches in five days today by hosting Cape Henry in what Starkey expects to be “a real test” for this point in her team’s season.