Hilliard earns Ohio defensive MVP award
ST. CLAIRSVILLE–Both teams left it all on the field in the final high school soccer match of their careers in the OVAC All-Star Game on Sunday.
Wheeling Park senior Lauren Schultz made it a night to remember as she collected a hat trick in the first 14 minutes of the contest and earned the Offensive MVP Award for her team as she led West Virginia over Ohio by a 7-1 count at St. Clairsville.
“I knew Lauren was going to score,” West Virginia coach Elias Hannaoui of Brooke said. “It only took 30 seconds into the match for her to score her first goal.”
Taylor Quickle of Madonna also recorded a hat trick and West Virginia goalkeeper Sophia Miller, of Parkersburg South, collected 10 saves in the win to earn the Defensive MVP for the Mountaineers.
“She had some awesome saves and saved a penalty kick during the game,” Hannaoui said. “Both Miller and Schultz are well deserving of the MVP awards. They played their best and it was fun watching them.
“They are very talented and I am sure they will do fine in college and I wish them all good luck.”
Schultz took over the game as soon as it began as she controlled the ball, darted downfield and fired a shot into the net 30 seconds into the action.
Just more than a minute later, Schultz struck again as she gathered a rebound from a shot that went off the post and blistered a shot past the Ohio keeper for an early 2-0 edge.
The Park standout delivered her third of the match at the 26:43 mark of the first half on a penalty kick to give West Virginia a 3-0 cushion.
After Schultz’s dominating start, Quickle delivered just as strong of a finish. She collected a pass from Madonna teammate Abriana Fuscardo and rifled it into the back of the net.
Quickle was set up by Schultz on the next score, as the Patriots’ leader intercepted a pass and outraced the defense. Moments later, Quickle found the ball and buried it in the back of the goal.
Linsly’s Clare Miller got into the scoring column as well in the 37th minute of the first half as the crowd erupted for the senior Cadet.
Quickle netted her third tally at the midway point of the second half.
“These girls are very talented,” Hannaoui said. “It is an honor for me to be here as their head coach.
“Coming into this, we knew we should be able to control the game because Wheeling Park won the OVAC and Wheeling Central have both dominated the Ohio Valley. They all represented their schools well.”
Steubenville midfielder Seana Ragusa gave the Buckeye state its first and only goal of the match in the 20th minute of the second half as she received a pass from East Liverpool’s Chelsea Reynolds and lofted a perfect shot over the goalkeeper’s head and into the side of the net.
“It was a very nice goal,” Ohio coach Liz Connor of Beaver Local said. “We talked about that type of play at halftime. They executed the play very well.
“These girls all played amazing. They came together a lot in the second half and started clicking more. They are a fun group to coach.”
Ohio’s Offensive MVP went to Lilly Ritz of Cambridge, while Lexie Hilliard of Beaver Local garnered Defensive MVP honors.
At halftime, Wheeling Central’s Kenadee Wayt and coach Julie Barack were recognized as the Class A/3A Player and Coach of the Year.
St. Clairsville’s Alyssa Otto and coach Wes Stoner won the awards for the 4A level, while Wheeling Park’s Jada Taylor and coach Carrie Hanna earned the accolades for 5A.