RONDA — Melia Higgins scored four goals, two in each half, as East Wilkes blanked Starmount 4-0 Tuesday evening.
Higgins’ first two goals came two minutes apart in the first half after a barrage of shots by the Cardinals and a slew of saves by Starmount keeper Amanda O’Donnell.
Higgins, a sophomore, also scored in the minute of the second half, but saved her best for last - a 25-yard right-footed rocket in the 24th minute that hit the far post through traffic and bounced in.
“She was great for us,” East Wilkes Coach Matt Campbell said. “She’s played a lot of soccer.
“But her success came through our midfield. She was just the beneficiary.”
Campbell specifically mentioned the work of Brooke Schubart, Molly Callaway, Katie Huffman, Hannah Holbrook, and Bethany Testerman as crucial to the Cardinals’ and Higgins’ success.
He was also pleased with his team’s time of possession; the way they communicated; and the way they moved the ball in the offensive zone.
“I challenged them before the game,” Campbell said. “We’ve carried the ball in too deep. I’ve tried to get them to take shots outside the 18. They bought into it tonight.”
Starmount Coach Jered Markman was again pleased by the work of O’Donnell. “She continues to pull out some good ones,” he said.
When it appeared East Wilkes was going to run away with it after Higgins’ second goal, the Rams regrouped - something Markman said his team continues to do.
“They never stop,” he said. “They play the whole time. They take it to the end.
“They’re very supportive of each other.”
Markman said two of the Cardinal goals were a result of “just simple mistakes.”
Starmount, now 2-8, is at North Wilkes tonight. East Wilkes, 3-3-1 after the win, hosted Wilkes Central Thursday night.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.