OTTAWA — It's been a busy couple weeks for the Ottawa varsity girls soccer club, but the Lady Pirates were still raring to go Thursday for their Northern Illinois Big 12 West home match against visiting Rochelle.
Ottawa scored in the opening 30 seconds and deposited four goals in the net before the match was 10 minutes old en route to an 8-0 blanking of the Lady Hubs here at King Field. Junior forward Kaitlin Falaney — who racked up seven goals at Rochelle earlier in the week — continued her Hub-killing ways with a hat trick Thursday evening, but there were plenty of scoring opportunities to go around for the Lady Pirates, now 6-5-1 overall and 2-2 in the NIB 12 West.
"We got off to a fired-up start with some quick play," fourth-year Lady Pirates coach Sean Porter said. "Rochelle plays with a high line (defenders pushed forward to midfield), and we've got a lot of speed so we were able to get some goals early. Then Rochelle kind of sank back and had a hard time finding goals for a little stretch there, but we opened up really strong with the right intentions.
"We did really well to find each other, spread the field well and shared the ball with each other," said Porter. "It was overall a good team effort. We were happy about it, we had fun with it, and it was just what we needed with it being our seventh game in nine calendar days."
Kaitlin Falaney opened the scoring with the aforementioned early goal just 29 seconds after the opening kickoff, putting in the first of her three goals off an Amaria Ross assist. She added her second just over a minute later, this one off a Reagan Shea assist, to make it 2-0 in favor of OHS.
Both Lexi Sommer (unassisted) and Abby Falaney (off a long assist from goalkeeper Tanlee Eich) added goals to extend the Ottawa lead to 4-0 before 10 minutes had elapsed. Kaitlin Falaney with a 30-yard shot (Katie McGraw assist), Shea (Destiny Crabbe assist) and Ross (Gracyn Tabor assist) with a split-the-defenders goal 7:11 before halftime added scores to push the Lady Pirates advantage to 7-0 by the break and cut the second-half clock in half.
Shelbi Walsh (Addie McCorkle assist) added the capper with 9:30 remaining in the 20-minute second half to add an exclamation point to the Lady Pirates victory. Eich in goal minded the 60-minute shutout.
"They earned this one. They're turning the corner," Porter said of his team. "They're getting more and more dangerous with every game ... and in games where we find a goal early, we find them often this year."