Coastal Christian girls soccer picks up first victory

***Click here to view a gallery of 25 photos from the action***

The Coastal Christian girls soccer team wasn’t about to let another halftime lead slip away.

A week after suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat at New Hanover, the Centurions used a dominant opening 60 minutes to cruise to a 6-1 victory over North Brunswick for their first victory of the young season.

Coastal Christian’s Brooke Barton scored two goals on Friday. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

“I thought today we really did what we’re looking to do, which is possess the ball and move it,” Coastal Christian coach Brian Kurtz said. “The New Hanover game was great for us, because it showed the girls how good they can be, but it also showed them that they can’t break focus at any point.”

In that loss to the Wildcats in the rain, the Centurions led 1-0 with five minutes left before conceding a pair of goals.

On Friday, once Coastal Christian (1-2) got the lead it continued to pull away. Senior Anna Smith got things started in the opening minutes, scoring off an assist from Stephanie Caldropoli. Smith added a second goal midway through the first half to put the Centurions on top 2-0 at halftime.

Minutes into the second half, Brooke Barton and Autumn Montague both found the back of the net to give the home team a comfortable advantage. Goals from Elsa Johnson in the 52nd minute and Barton in the 59th minute increased the lead to 6-0.

“Now that we have a win and a good connection, we’ll have the confidence to keep going,” Smith said. “In those first two games we just weren’t on top of our game.”

Early season struggles were to be expected with a young group that features 11 freshmen. Eight of them got the start on Friday and they all delivered solid play.

Elsa Johnson was one of eight freshmen in the starting lineup for Coastal Christian. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

Johnson ripped a rocket from distance into the top right corner of the goal, while Caldropoli and Brooke Allen each had an assist. Goalkeeper Betsy Wheeler finished with 16 saves.

“They came from different schools, so it’s always a challenge to get them in the groove of things,” Smith said. “They are really connecting with us and playing at the higher level speed, so it’s been good.”

North Brunswick’s (2-1) lone goal came from Alexia Campbell in the the 71st minute.