SHADY SPRING, W.Va. — Worth the drive.
The Point Pleasant boys soccer team scored four times in each half and picked up its seventh shutout of the season Tuesday night during an 8-0 victory over host Shady Spring in a non-conference match in Raleigh County.
The Black Knights (9-9-1) capped off their regular season road schedule in style, as the guests picked up a season sweep of the Tigers (1-12-2) while handing SSHS its fourth consecutive loss. PPHS won the previous match at OVB Field by a 3-0 count back on Sept. 16.
The Red and Black outshot Shady Spring by a sizable 22-2 overall margin, which included an 18-2 advantage in shots on goal. Point also had all five corner kicks and was only whistled for four of the 11 fouls in the match.
Cole Walker and Adam Veroski each recorded hat tricks, and Garrett Hatten added a pair of goals as the Black Knights ended the regular season with a 4-5 road mark.
Both teams went scoreless through the opening 10 minutes of regulation, but Hatten and Veroski hooked up in the 12th minute for ended up being the game-winning goal.
Veroski worked the ball down to the end line on the left side, then crossed a pass in front of the net that Hatten ran into with his left foot. The shot trickled inside the near post while giving PPHS a 1-0 cushion.
Four minutes later, Jacob Bryant took the ball down the right side to the end line and crossed a pass that Hatten found in front. Hatten gained controlled and fired a shot into the back of the net, making it a 2-0 contest.
Braxton Lovejoy found Veroski on a streaking pass in the 22nd minute, and Veroski beat the keeper on a one-on-one move to give the Knights a 3-0 edge.
Veroski also took a pass from Alex Carlisle in the 30th minute and floated a shot over a sliding SSHS keeper. Veroski’s goal went untouched into the empty net, allowing PPHS to secure a 4-0 lead at the break.
Justin Staats dropped a pass back to Cole Walker, who netted the shot in the 44th minute for a 5-0 edge.
Bryant dropped a pass into the middle of the offensive third that Walker ran down and netted in the 47th minute, then Walker completed his hat trick in the 50th minute on a rebound that made it 7-0.
Veroski completed his hat trick on a one-on-one goal in the 60th minute to wrap up the eight-goal triumph.
PPHS coach Chip Wood was pleased with how well the collective group played on Tuesday night — which has been a major theme for this squad this season.
“We attacked the goal clinically tonight. We put a lot of shots on goal and finished a lot of shots,” Wood said. “We maintained possession all game using the width to open up gaps in their back line, which is something that we’ve been working on finishing for several practices now. Tonight it really looked like we knew how to score.
“We also did a lot of things we’ve focused on all year. It was a great game for us that we really needed. We now have more goals and more assists than we had all of last year, which really highlights our growth as a team.”
Point Pleasant hosted Cabell Midland on Wednesday night in the 2017 regular season finale.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.