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Aloha girls just too much for Jaguars 5-1

Hayley Koch has three goals to lift the Warriors past Century on Monday
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, GOOD TIMES — Aloha’s Alina Ferguson (left) and teammate Ashley Hittner celebrate Hittner’s goal in the first half of their 5-1 non-league victory over Century at Aloha High School on Monday night.

ALOHA - Forget what you remember about Aloha girls soccer. The Warriors are trying to shed its losing image a season after going winless at 0-13-1, including 0-9 in Metro League play (1-17 the last two years).

Aloha took a step toward turning the corner with a dominating 5-1 victory over Century on Monday behind senior forward Hayley Koch's three goals. Senior defender Jodi Edley's added three assists and a goal as the Warriors continuously pressured the Jaguars' goal, taking 33 shots to Century's three.

'This year we really want to step it up,' Koch said. 'We're sick and tired of losing. We're going to put up a fight and make sure every realizes they're playing Aloha High School.'

While Century is no longer in the Metro League, having moved to Class 5A in the OSAA reclassification, it took nothing away from the Warriors' victory, which marked Aloha coach Rick Dormers' first win over the Jaguars in five years.

'I think we're better than we've been in the past,' Dormer said. 'We definitely have speed. Instead of being overly possessive, we'll get it and go and use our speed to our advantage.'

Century found that out the hard way Monday. Aloha consistently won the 50-50 balls, dominated possession and fired a barrage of shots on the Jaguars goal with quick attacks.

It didn't take long for the Warriors to break through. Edley sent a long ball up to freshman forward Ashley Hittner, who collected it between two defenders 20 yards from the goal and moved inside with a nifty header to herself. Koch sent a chip shot from 12 yards out on the left side over the keeper's reach and inside the top right corner for a 1-0 lead 2 ½ minutes into the game.

'She knows where to be,' Dormer said. 'She's a real talent. Just a great athlete.'

The Warriors broke through eight minutes later after another long ball by Edley. Her free kick from near midfield carried past the defenders to Koch, who sprinted ahead to secure the ball then beat the keeper with a shot into the left side from 10 yards out in the 11th minute.

'I got super frustrated at the beginning,' Koch said. 'I've been wanting to score so bad.'

Aloha continued to have opportunities, taking 12 shots in the first 20 minutes and 17 total in the first half. But, despite controlling the action and holding Century to just two first-half shots, the Warriors didn't expand their lead until the 12th minute of the second half.

Hittner secured the ball near midfield then sent a pass ahead to Koch, who sprinted down the left side before beating the keeper with a rolling shot from 15 yards out that snuck just inside the right post.

Forty seconds later, Koch was at it again on nearly the same play, just from the other side. She raced ahead to secure a long ball from Edley deep in the box, then sent a shot past the keeper from 10 yards out that flew across the mouth of the goal before slipping inside the left post for a 4-0 lead.

'At halftime I told the girls that they were making this too interesting,' Dorrner said. 'We have to learn to compete. You can't relax and rest on a small lead.'

Unlike the past, Aloha did nothing of the sort with Edley tacking on a third goal within a two-minute span as the Warriors pulled away. Edley's free kick from 35 yards out on the left side carried past the header attempts, bounced once over the keeper and found its way into the netting on the right side.

'I didn't think it would go that far,' Edley said. 'I thought it would be a pass. I'm surprised it went in.'

Edley wasn't surprised with the result, though, given the team's improved chemistry and work ethic this season.

'The last couple of years have been tough,' said Edley, a four-year varsity player. 'This year we're definitely working on being more aggressive. We're getting after it and training hard against each other.'