WATERVILLE  — The Waterville girls soccer team may be young entering the 2021 season.

But as they proved Thursday night, they still have talent.

The Purple Panthers jumped out early offensively and stayed ahead to cruise to a 5-0 season-opening victory over Cony at Webber Field.

Waterville graduated 11 seniors from last year’s team. Not only did the Purple Panthers have to get reacclimated to a normal soccer season, they had to do so with almost an entirely new team.

“We’ve practiced hard, we’ve come a long way since the preseason,” Waterville junior Ava Moody said.

“It’s a good start,” Waterville coach Mark Serdjenian said. “You never know what to expect that first game. It’s nice to get off to a good start.”

The youthful inexperience didn’t show Thursday. Waterville jumped out on the offensive attack early, scoring within the first two minutes of the game, when Maeve Wilcox knocked a shot past Cony goalkeeper Kylee Huard for a 1-0 lead.

Waterville’s Krista Evans (3) clears the ball from her end of the pitch during a girls soccer game against Cony on Thursday in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

An own-goal gave Waterville a 2-0 lead three minutes later, and Wilcox added her second goal of the contest, a rebound off a save by Huard, to give Waterville a comfortable 3-0 lead with 28 minutes left in the first half.

“It was fun, I’m happy to be here,” said Wilcox, a freshman. “We did pretty well today, we’ve been working hard this preseason.”

“We got the ball forward, we got the ball in the box,” Serdjenian said. “It was a good result for us.”

Waterville showed its skill for the remainder of the half on the defensive side of the ball, turning away Cony’s advances when the Rams turned the tide on the offensive momentum.

“We definitely have really good defense,” Moody said. “We definitely worked a lot (in the preseason) on moving the ball up the field. Crossing the ball is definitely something that we’ve worked on.”

The Purple Panthers flexed their offensive muscle again in the second half, when Moody and Sadie Williams each added goals to lengthen the lead to the final 5-0 score.

“It was really nice (to jump out early on offense),” said Williams, also a freshman. “We did stuff in the preseason, played a lot of really good teams. To come out with a win, I think it’s going to boost our confidence, hopefully has us playing better.”

 

Dave Dyer – 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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