After struggling a bit in the first two games of the season against Bettendorf and Rock Island, the Davenport Central girls soccer team found its offensive game against Clinton on Tuesday night.
Led by a hat trick from junior Kaighin Frost, the Blue Devils looked sharp with their passing and finishing as the hosts took down the River Queens, 6-0, in Mississippi Athletic Conference action at Brady Street Stadium.
Dominating possession and moving the ball through the midfield for most of the game, Central (1-2 overall, 1-1 MAC) got goals from four different players and also had four assists on those six goals. Frost got things going for the home team in the 11th minute when she got free from 20 yards out and blasted a low shot into the left corner. Just 20 seconds later, a defensive error from Clinton (1-2, 0-1) gave Frost an uncontested finish from barely 12 yards out.
Frost finished her scoring in the 47th minute with a nifty run past two defenders and placed a high shot into the right corner.
"Tonight, things felt good, against Rock Island I felt a little off," Frost said. "We came out and did what we needed to. We passed as we should and that was something we've struggled with and, finally, we finished and that was something we struggled with all of last season."
The Blue Devils had several nice passing combinations that helped set up goals from Ellianna Revell-Beck (26th minute), Zadie Smith (44th minute) and Ava Soliz (70th minute). Central also got assists from Keely Behan, Miya Wilkins and Jordyn Johnson.
"It's a team thing knowing where people are going to go, who has the ball and a feeling of where to be," Frost said. "If we work as a team and capitalize on our chances, control the middle, we'll be fine."
For all the teamwork, however, Frost looked like the best player on the field, at times, with deft touches on the ball and making dangerous runs without the ball.
"She has a skill set that you can't coach but love to have on your team," Central coach Nick Newman said of his forward. "It feels like, a lot of times, no defender can get the ball off her foot."
The Blue Devils out-shot the River Queens, 18-5, for the contest.
"We did not live up to our full potential the first two games but, realistically, these girls moved into the midfield, took the easy pass and moved for each other off the ball and, once you do that, you are going to control the game," Newman said. "The girls were more aggressive tonight and willing to take risks and play the ball through. There was a lot of positive energy coming off the sideline. It was just a great team effort."
Central keeper Haley Brown did not have too much to do, making five saves for the game, although she did stop Clinton's best chance of the game early in the second half when Megan Gandrup got free in the box and blasted a shot at Brown from eight yards out. Brown made a diving stop to her left to preserve the shutout.
Rylie Mussman made 11 saves in goal for the River Queens.