HUNTINGTON - To beat an opponent for the first time in at least five years, teamwork is at a premium.
Everyone on Huntington High School's boys soccer team played well Thursday night and the effort showed in the result. Five different players scored goals, two other players had assists and goalkeeper Noah Haikal stopped all five shots fired at him as the Highlanders shut out Parkersburg, 5-0, on Highlander mountaintop.
"We talked before the game about what we're capable of and to focus on what we can control," HHS coach Kyle Sniatecki said. "When we do that, we're a good team."
Huntington High (2-1) continually pressured the Big Reds (2-1) in the first half, playing most of the game in Parkersburg territory. Despite taking seven shots to PHS' three, the Highlanders led just 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Constantine Svingos on a penalty kick 23:21 into the contest.
Huntington High persevered, playing aggressively and working well together to blow open the game in the second half. Sniatecki was pleased his team stuck to the plan, believed in it and executed.
"One of the keys for us was to keep a high line and pressure them," Sniatecki said. "We talked about being resilient. Our play showed we were very resilient."
Beau Simpson made it 2-0 on a goal off a Sirmon Brown crossing pass at the 45:36 mark. Just 1:22 later, Sasha Kessinger made it 3-0 when he beat Parkersburg goalkeeper Nathan Holland to a loose ball and kicked it into the net.
The Big Reds appeared to at least get back in the game with 16:16 left when an offsides call nullified a goal by Teddy Hutson.
The score remained 3-0 until 75:27 when Ryan McGuffin ripped a shot into the lower left corner of the Big Reds' goal to boost the Highlanders' lead to 4-0.
Huntington High's final goal came on a Trace Prout breakaway off an assist by Jordan Merry with just 3:46 left in the contest.
The Highlanders play was in contrast to a recent loss at Woodrow Wilson.
"That was a tough loss," Sniatecki said. "It was a long drive. We got an early lead and then found adversity and had some calls not go our way. We talked about that after the game. We talked about not letting those things affect who we are and what we want to accomplish."
Huntington High returns to action at 10 a.m. Saturday at home against Wheeling Park.
PARKERSBURG 0 0 - 0
HNTINGTN HIGH 1 4 - 5
HH - Svingos penalty kick, 16:39
HH - Simpson (S. Brown assist), 45:36
HH - Kessinger unassisted, 46:48
HH - McGuffin unassisted, 75:27
HH - Prout (Merry assist), 76:14
Shots: P 6, HH 10. Saves: P 4 (Holland 4), HH 5 (Haikal). Corner kicks: P 1. HH 2.