Young Railroaders Blank Rival Horde

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By Keith Harrington

The shoes that the girls in the Whitehall athletic program have to fill are massive. The Railroaders graduated arguably the most successful group of female athletes in school history in June. If the first few games of the soccer season are any indication, Whitehall is going to be just fine.

Thursday, the Railroaders scored a goal in each half as they blanked rival Granville 2-0 in an Adirondack League matchup.

The young Whitehall squad is a work in progress, but coach Boyd Hunt feels they will progress as the season goes on.

“The expectations aren’t the same currently, but they’re going to start to change as the year goes because as you learn your expectations change,” Hunt said after the game.

The game was a defensive battle for most of the afternoon. Neither team created many good chances to put the ball in the back of the net, but when they did, goalies Khloe Paddock of Whitehall and Kierra Rice of Granville came up with stops.

The Railroaders finally broke through with 14:28 to play in the first half when Ava Stone banged home the rebound of a saved shot to give her team a 1-0 advantage.

In the second half, Rice did her best to keep the Golden Horde close coming up with a handful of clutch saves, including one at point-blank range.

Whitehall got the game-clincher with 4:08 to play on a long drive from defender Samantha Howland that found its way between Rice’s fingertips and the upper corner of the net.

Even though they came away with a win, Hunt feels his team was a little lackluster.

“Granville played tough today. We were very flat today,” Hunt said. “We’re young. And some days you have it, and some days you don’t.

Khloe Paddock earned the shutout in goal with five saves. Paddock now has four shutouts on the season.

Rice stopped 13 shots for Granville.

Whitehall is now 2-1, 4-1.