DuBOIS — It wasn’t a thing of beauty at times, but the DuBois girls soccer team still dominated the action Wednesday against Bradford on its way to a 5-0 victory in the Lady Beavers’ home opener at the DuBois Middle School Field.
DuBois wasted little time seizing the lead, as senior Maddison King took a pass from fellow senior Reese Sayers and blasted a shot past Lady Owls keeper Mackenzie Lucas just 47 seconds into the game.
One might think that was a sign of things to come, but instead the Lady Beavers found the going tough against Bradford from there. DuBois maintained possession on Bradford’s half of the field for most of the first half — and the game overall — but struggled to set open looks at the net.
DuBois went over 16 minutes without a shot following King’s goal before Sayers scored twice in a span of 1:19 seconds to give the Lady Beavers a 3-0 lead 18:28 into the game. Those three goals came on DuBois’ first three shots of the game.
Freshman Monica Scotto added a fourth goal in the first half — giving DuBois four goals on its first five shots of the game — and a 4-0 halftime lead.
DuBois senior Madison Havrilesko finished off the scoring when she found the back of the net 8:04 into the second half. Bradford held DuBois scoreless from there as Lady Beavers head coach Dave Martin rotated a host of younger players onto the field over the final 30 minutes or so.
Lady Beaver sophomore goalkeeper Emily Cherubini posted her first full-length varsity shutout. Cherubini faced just three shots, making two nice saves in the opening 40 minutes to keep Bradford off the board. Cherubini played a half in DuBois’ season-opening 6-0 win Friday over Derry at the Indiana Tournament.
“For the first 25 minutes or so they just kept dribbling into traffic, and not playing our game or our style,” said Martin. “The girls knew it but were kind of stuck in this weird zone. A lot of times we’d be on the left side and trying to force it and you’d have Brianna Nelson or (Madison) Donahue on the right just open. Then at same time, if it happened on the right, you’d have Maddy King or Reese (Sayers) wide open (on left).
“We just weren’t switching, but the good thing is the girls recognized it. It just took a while for them to see it and a change it. But, we were able to get a comfortable lead though and get a lot of the younger girls some varsity action.
“This year, there are quite a few more junior varsity games that were cancelled because others don’t have it, so it was nice to able to afford that for them.”
After King’s quick fireworks to open the game, things turned into a midfield battle with the two sides passing the ball back-and-forth to each other.
Bradford’s first real push up the field resulted in its first scoring chance. However, Cherubini stopped a shot by Lady Owl Regan Johnson at the near post.
DuBois finally broke through just past the 17-minute mark when King slipped a pass up the middle through the Bradford defense. Sayers ran down the pass and fired a shot past Lucas.
Sayers scored on a similar play just over a minute later, only this time it was Scotto who threaded a pass to Sayers, who promptly made it 3-0.
Bradford nearly cut its deficit in half at the 21:25 mark of the half when Johnson ran down a ball behind the DuBois defense in the box. However, Cherubini came out to challenge the Lady Owl and made a sliding save as she blocked a shot off Johnson’s foot.
DuBois quickly pushed the ball up the field and made it 4-0 when Scotto took a cross from Isabella Beers and slammed home shot to make it 4-0 with 17:52 left in the half.
The Lady Beavers had their chances to extend the lead over the final 16 minutes of the half. Caitlin Drahushak had two shots sail just over the crossbar, while Scotto fired a shot just wide. Lucas also made a save on another DuBois shot.
DuBois carried the momentum it built late in the first half in the final 40 minutes.
Sayers had a shot stopped by Lucas 59 seconds into the second half. Lucas then denied a shot by Kiara Trethewey just before the 4-minute mark.
There was nothing Lucas could do on DuBois’ final goal, as Havrilesko took a cross from Sayers in the box and one-timed a shot into the back of the net to set the eventual final at 5-0.
Shots were at a premium from there in the final 31:56 of the game.
DuBois mustered just four more shots during that closing stretch. Lucas denied a scoring chance by Brianna Nelson just past the midway point of the half.
Bradford had just one shot in the final 40 minutes, and Cherubini stopped that attempt by Lady Owl Kaitlyn Shields with 8:09 remaining.
DuBois (2-1) is back in action Monday at home against Punxsutawney.