POCA, W.Va. — Score early, score often.
The Point Pleasant boys varsity soccer team improved its mark to 5-1 this season following an 5-1 victory over host Poca on Thursday night in a non-conference matchup in Putnam County.
The visiting Black Knights (5-1) scored three goals in the first half en route to the win.
Alberto Castillo scored in the 4th minute of the contest for PPHS, after receiving a cross from Garrett Hatten, to put the Black Knights ahead at 1-0.
Castillo added a second goal in the 12th minute, off an assist by Jaden Reed, to extend Point Pleasant’s advantage to 2-0.
PPHS widen its margin to 3-0 on a goal by Hajin Kim in the 25th minute. Castillo was credited with the assist as the Red and Black carried a three-goal advantage into intermission.
Point Pleasant furthered its lead to 4-0, 8:00 into the second half, as Braxton Watkins-Lovejoy buried a shot off and assist by Kim.
Garrett Hatten tallied the Black Knights final goal of the contest, at the 70:00 minute mark, to push PPHS ahead 5-0.
Poca cut the deficit to 5-1, at the 79:48 mark when Parker Bonnett scored what served as the Dots’ lone goal of the match.
Point Pleasant outshot the Defenders by a sizable 17-9 overall margin and also claimed a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.
PPHS junior goalkeeper Nick Smith finished with with eight saves, while PHS had 12.
Point Pleasant head coach Chip Wood was pleased with his team’s overall effort — particularly with the absence of two key contributors.
“We had a hard time adjusting to the narrow field,” Wood said. “But we controlled the game and the pace of the game. Braxton did a great job of getting us settled and distributing the ball where it needed to go. We were missing Adam Veroski — our leading scorer — and Isaiah Snyder on defense, but Kaydean Eta stepped up and filled in for Isaiah and we covered Adam’s spot with a trio of players.”
The Black Knights returned to action on Saturday to host Fairland.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.