LIBERTY — For only the second time this season the Liberty Blue Jays scored more than three goals in a game, securing an 8-0 victory over Truman Tuesday, April 16, in Liberty.
On a team stacked with upperclassmen, it was sophomore Ellie Rogers to sparked the offense against the Lady Patriots. Rogers scored in the first three minutes to quickly put the Blue Jays up 1-0. Senior Shae Turner would add a goal at the 5’ mark to move it to 2-0.
After the early two goals, the offense sputtered a bit and a goal by junior Rylie May would break the stalemate in minute 20. Rogers then added her second goal a minute later and the lead swelled to 4-0 and would stay there to halftime.
Rogers’ scoring outburst is the payoff of weeks of extra work in order to secure more playing time, according to coach Tyler Nash.
“She has continually been getting better throughout the year,” Nash said. “She is a very driven player. She came to us (coaching staff) several weeks ago asking how she can get more playing time and we’ve seen an elevation in her game since.”
The elevation continued to show in the second half as Rogers would follow Turner’s goal at 47 minutes with her own at 48’ giving her a hat trick for the game. A hat trick was simply not enough for Rogers as she added another goal with 26 minutes to go that sent the lead to 7-0 for the Blue Jays.
From that point on, Nash played a multitude of lineups to get fresh legs in and give the normal starters some rest.
“Our girls have been tired,” Nash said. “We’ve been logging so many games in such a short time frame. So this game was good for rest and to get some players in who may not see as much playing time to help build the team camaraderie.”
Junior Abby Watts would add the final score in the minute 60 that set the score at 8-0 where it would stay for the rest of the game. Even though the game was controlled from start to finish by Liberty, Nash did identify a few areas for the Blue Jays to work on before their next challenge.
“Every game is like a bigger practice,” Nash said. “We have to make sure we are getting better. I think I saw some things, our possession was good and our ability to work with the outside backs being able to attack is always a good thing.”
Nash will have one day to make the adjustments needed before Liberty host Staley in a matchup of two very even teams.
Both the Blue Jays and Falcons average just under three goals a game and give up less than one goal per game.
Liberty and Staley will meet on Thursday, April 18 in Liberty as the Falcons seek to even the season series with the Blue Jays after Liberty beat Staley 3-0 on March 26.