ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Late in the first half of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference girls soccer quarterfinals, Madonna coach Bob Kolanko yelled words of encouragement to his sophomore goaltender.
Brooke forward Leila Hannoui fired a shot at Tessie Tokash from the left side, 15 yards away. It found the net past a diving effort from Tokash.
"Don't worry," Kolanko said. "An MLS goalie wouldn't have been able to make that save."
UNDER THE LIGHTS — Brooke’s Leila Hannoui tries to control the ball during Thursday’s 7-0 victory by the Bruins in the OVAC?Cup quarterfinals at St. Clairsville High School. Hannoui scored a pair of goals.
-- Matthew Peaslee
SOCCER PLAY — Weirton Madonna’s Alayna Macaluso makes a run for the ball during Thursday’s OVAC?Cup quarterfinals at St. Clairsville High School.
-- Matthew Peaslee
It wasn't a stretch. The Bruins took control from the start with two goals in the first three minutes and beat the Blue Dons, 7-0, on Thursday.
"When you play a very talented Brooke team you have to be on your 'A' game," Kolanko said. "If you're a step behind, they'll get a step ahead and beat you to the ball. That's what happened."
After two shots on goal, sophomore forward Cheyenne Hudson scored after stealing the ball at midfield. She did it again 40 seconds later, but passed it up to senior Michaela Hineraman who scored.
"Cheyenne is an extremely strong and a very technical player," said Brooke coach Lee Weppler. "She goes out there and you're not going to find a girl who has more heart and attitude.
"Words can't describe how good of a player she is."
"Phenomenal," is how Hinerman describes her.
"Just a fantastic player," is what Kolanko says. "She probably could be the best player to come through this valley."
Kolanko has coached Hudson and about a third of the Bruins team for the past six years on a travel team.
"All of the girls on both teams are best friends," Weppler said.
Shelby Cronin also scored for the Bruins as Hudson and Hannoui each added another goal. Hinerman, Hudson, Jenna Riccelli, Jenna Simon and Dynah Sayre each had an assist.
"My teammates are really supportive," Hudson said. "We were working very well together and communicating."
Tokash finished with 20 saves - her second highest total of the season. The Bruins attempted nearly 30 shots.
"They're a very strong shooting team," Kolanko said. "The shots weren't just slow rollers right to her, either. She had to come up and play aggressive."
With the Bruins' fast start, the Blue Dons had to adjust quickly.
"We play an outside trap," Kolanko said. "The first three times we stepped up they didn't call the offsides so I made sure our defense stepped back a little bit.
"That kind of hurt us, particularly early on. We had to stay back rather than getting burned. (After that) they controlled it but we kind of held it at bay."
Brooke was the OVAC runner up in 2012, falling to Morgantown, 3-0. Earlier this year, the Bruins tied the Mohigans. Next up is Wheeling Park, which beat St. Clairsville, 8-1, in the earlier quarterfinal. The Patriots beat the Bruins in a regular- season match up, but they tied in a preseason scrimmage.
"It'll be a tough game," Hinerman said of the 11 a.m. contest at Wheeling Island Stadium. "We're excited. Nobody expected us to go that far last year (in the OVAC tournament). Coming back this year, we have a better chance and that's what were working toward."