West Virginia girls destroy Ohio 6-0
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — In the girls’ half of the 21st Annual Senior All-Star Classic at Red Devil Stadium on Sunday, West Virginia not only defeated the Ohio all-stars, but delivered a shutout in a 6-0 victory.
The Mountaineers pulled off the impressive victory behind two goals from Offensive MVP Leila Hannaoui of Brooke.
“It is really nice to get recognized for my hard work,” she said. “It is also very nice to represent West Virginia in front of the Ohio Valley. I have heard about this game as an underclassman from all of the seniors. I always came to watch and now it is nice being on the field for the game. It’s amazing and I love it.”
As much as she enjoyed being apart of the event and gathering MVP honors, it was just as special for Hannaoui to be able to share the moment with the best soccer stars in the state of West Virginia.
“These are the best players in West Virginia,” Hannaoui said. “It was great playing with them. I am so used to playing against them and it was just nice to be with them for once.”
As important as Hannaoui’s two goals were, the defense and goalkeepers who pitched the shutout were just as big of a factor.
Goalkeepers Bailey Heubi of University, Linsly’s Vivian Allison and John Marshall’s Asya Carney all combined to keep Ohio off the scoreboard.
“Our goalkeepers made some good saves,” West Virginia coach Bob Kolanko of Madonna said. “Our defense helped and did a good job of keeping opportunities away from them. I am very pleased with our defensive performance.”
Along with Hannaoui’s MVP honors, the Defensive MVP for West Virginia was Kaileigh Husk from Parkersburg South, while Steubenville had a pair of MVP’s as Emma Cotter earned the offensive award and Gillian Haught collected the defensive medal.
“It is an honor to coach this group of girls,” Kolanko said. “Some of them just met each other before the game and as the game progressed, they got more comfortable and started passing much better. It was fun to watch.”
Along with Hannaoui, Cassie Whitlach of Parkersburg South and Hayley Timko of Madonna also scored two goals in the match for West Virginia.
John Madden of Steubenville Central coached Ohio and was impressed with the group of girls who represented the Buckeye state.
“There are usually four or five girls on a soccer team who stand out,” Madden said. “However, on this team, everybody from goalkeeper to goalkeeper and everyone in between really knows how to play well and they showed it today.”
The All-Star game is not just a showcase of the best skills and talents in the game but it is also the start of many new friendships among former opponents.
“This is a great opportunity for girls to play with a group that they usually play against,” Kolanko said. “They are bonding and the friendships that they have already formed is a lot of fun to see.”