YORK TWP. — Fallon Joyce was frustrated while warming up Saturday afternoon. The Buckeye senior had shots sailing every which way, other than where she wanted to place the ball.
That all changed with the opening whistle.
Joyce had one of the best games of her career as the Bucks dominated rival Cloverleaf 11-1 in a non-league girls soccer match the Thiele-Pierce Track and Soccer Complex.
“I have the mentality of trying to get all the bad ones out before the game as opposed to when I get on the field,” said Joyce, who finished with five goals and an assist. “It’s super fun. I enjoyed it, and I think we all enjoyed it. I just knew that they were are biggest rivals, and I just wanted to do the best I could to help my team.”
Competing in a traditionally back-and-forth series, Buckeye (1-0) snapped a two-game losing skid to the Colts (2-2) with a scoring barrage that started a little more than a minute in.
Joyce seemed to be in the right place at the right time on just about every attack — something Cloverleaf didn’t seem to have an answer for.
“I would say she was getting all of her mistakes out in the warmup, because if someone would’ve told me she was going to make those shots she did today, I would’ve thought they were lying,” Buckeye coach Derrick Gullen said. “I don’t think the game time pressure got to her.”
Indeed it didn’t, as Joyce scored in just about every way, from taking feeds and blasting shots with pinpoint accuracy to scoring three times off direct kicks, including one from 35 yards that sailed over the outstretched hands of keeper Skyelar Mantz (4 saves).
Joyce assisted Gabby Glancy for a 2-0 lead just six minutes in. Riley Vickertz and Reagan McCourt then netted their first varsity goals as the Bucks led 4-0 before the Colts had a shot on goal.
“As soon as they got their momentum going, and it’s non-stop, we were constantly back-tracking and we never had a chance to get back out of first gear,” Cloverleaf coach Guillermo Porras said. “Not taking anything away from Buckeye, because they played great, but I think our effort was not there all over the field.”
Joyce scored on back-to-back free kicks to finish the half before senior Alli Gray put the Colts on the board with a direct kick from 18 yards minutes into the second. It made Gray the Cloverleaf career scoring leader.
“She’s a captain, a leader and people on this team look up to her,” Porras said. “As soon as she gets on the board, all the players take after that and they start to work more.
“But the rest of the players need to not rely on Alli so much and really start to pick up from the first second.”
The Bucks’ Natalie Bartlett scored on a rebound before Joyce tallied her final two goals. Katelyn Petrovic and Halle Orrick rounding out the scoring.
“After losing last year, we all went in with the same mentality and it all started clicking,” said Joyce, referring to Buckeye’s 3-1 loss last fall. “I think the biggest thing was we had two full weeks of practices coming in, so I think doing a lot of passing drills and shooting drills, it just all came together today.
“Especially for our senior year, we wanted to beat them one last time. We have a lot of good upcoming freshman and a deep freshman and I think this will make us want to work harder.”
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Buckeye 11, Cloverleaf 1
CLOVERLEAF 0 1 — 1
BUCKEYE 6 5 — 11
B — Fallon Joyce (Gabby Glancy), 38:39.
B — Glancy (Joyce), 33:09.
B — Riley Vickerts (Glancy), 24:24.
B — Reagan McCourt, 15:37.
B — Joyce, 5:16.
B — Joyce, 0:24.
C — Alli Gray, 34:23.
B — Natalie Bartlett, 33:23.
B — Joyce, 25:00.
B — Joyce, 22:16.
B — Katelyn Petrovic, 15:01.
B — Halle Orrick (Natalie Bartlett), 5:53.
Shots on goal — Cloverleaf 4, Buckeye 17. Corner kicks — Cloverleaf 0, Buckeye 4. Saves — Skyelar Mantz (C) 4, Nadia Gaydos (C) 2, Julianne Finley (B) 3. Records — Cloverleaf (2-2), Buckeye (1-0).