Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 12, 2014

Strong start

Valdosta girls, boys blast Cook in opener

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Wildcats outscored the visiting Cook Hornets 12-1 in a two-game sweep on Tuesday night to open the 2014 soccer season on a high note.

The Wildcats girls and boys won by scores of 7-0 and 5-1, respectively,  at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium as they controlled both of their respective games throughout.

Valdosta's girls took on Cook in the first game and it did not take long for the game to get away from the Hornets. The Wildcats used crisp passes to keep the ball away from the Hornets as a 3-0 halftime lead became a runaway victory.

Despite the large margin of victory, Valdosta coach Brent Doughty would not go so far to say his team dominated its opponent in the regular season opener, instead focusing on where the ’Cats need to get better.

"I don't want to say that we necessarily dominated it," said Doughty. "We possessed the ball pretty much; we did some good passing tonight. We still have a lot of work to do, finishing and stuff, we need to take quicker shots, but I wouldn't call it domination, just a good game."

Valdosta captain Claire Kirkpatrick provided the Wildcats offense early on as the senior scored the game's first three goals for a first-half hat trick.

“Honestly, I don't know [how I scored a hat trick]," said Kirkpatrick. "I definitely wouldn't say it was just me. It was just great teamwork, everyone working together and just bringing what we did in practice to the game.”

With a 3-0 lead at intermission, the Wildcats extended their lead to four early in the second half thanks to a Hornets self-goal. Liana Ochos added two goals of her own and Samantha McLendon scored one to begin the season.

The Valdosta girls have won both games this season after a 2-0 preseason win against Fitzgerald on Feb. 6. The Wildcats’ next challenge comes Friday against Thomasville at home.

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