SELLERSBURG — New Albany continued its strong start to the season Tuesday night.
The visiting Bulldogs scored four goals in the first 22 minutes en route to a 10-0 triumph over short-handed Silver Creek.
Juniors Grace Barber and Emma Lopp each had hat tricks to lead the offensive onslaught for unbeaten New Albany (4-0-1).
"I talked to our girls [before the game] and I just wanted them to come out strong early," first-year Bulldogs coach Drew Stein said. "I feel like we’ve got really talented people, especially up top, and we can put some balls in the back of the net if we just possess it and play our game and just work the ball to feet. ... We were able to get a few of them early and I think that just kind of got Silver Creek out of their game. Then we were just able to find the net continuing in the second half."
In a game that was played in four 20-minute quarters followed by 5-minute water breaks, due to the heat, New Albany got off to a hot start.
In the third minute Lopp found the net off an assist from Taylor Treat.
"We came out really ready to win and we came out really strong. We didn’t let them have it, we went to every ball," said Lopp, who has eight goals and four assists so far this season. "We really set the tone for the game early on, and that’s what we’re working on and that’s what’s important moving forward."
It remained 1-0 until late in the first quarter when Barber tallied two goals a little more than a minute apart.
"We wanted to act like, coming out, that we were down one goal," Barber said. "We didn’t want to start off slow and we have a team goal to score in the first five minutes, and we did that and we’ve done it in previous games. It really showed how much energy we had in the beginning."
Barber added another goal less than 2 minutes into the second quarter to cap off her hat trick.
The Bulldogs, who led 4-0 at halftime, scored four more — the first two by Lopp — in the third quarter before tallying twice in the final frame.
Since opening its season with a 2-1 win over Jasper and a 1-1 tie at North Harrison, New Albany has outscored its past three opponents — Bedford North Lawrence, Austin and Silver Creek — by a combined score of 30-1. The Bulldogs look to continue their winning ways when they host Seymour at 7 p.m. Thursday and Jennings County, which beat New Albany in the first round of the sectional last year, at 11 a.m. Saturday.
"We had a tough one against Jasper, then we tied North Harrison, and that was a battle," Stein said. "I felt like we didn’t play our game very well, so we made a few adjustments and I feel like we’ve been clicking pretty well the last few games.”
Meanwhile Tuesday's setback was the third loss in a row for the Dragons (3-4), who lost nine to graduation from a team that won its second straight sectional title, then lost junior midfielder Anna Wright, their top-returning scorer, to a knee injury before the season started.
"We knew this year was going to be somewhat of a rebuilding year anyway, then Anna goes down before the season starts," Silver Creek coach Patrick Anderson said of Wright, a recent Western Kentucky commit who had successful surgery to repair an ACL and meniscus Tuesday.
Then, Tuesday night the Dragons also played without starting goalie Megan Ekart, who aggravated a shoulder injury this past weekend in the Hoosier Cup, as well as junior midfielder Natalie Day, who has been battling migraines. To make matters worse, they had a couple more players go down with injuries against the Bulldogs.
"Our girls, I don’t think they gave up. I think they played hard," Anderson said. "But they were better than us player-for-player, they were able to pass around us. I think we fought hard, but once the girls started going down then it just starts to become a mental thing."
NEW ALBANY 10, SILVER CREEK 0
New Albany 3 1 4 2—10
Silver Creek 0 0 0 0—0
NA — Emma Lopp (Taylor Treat assist), 3rd minute.
NA — Grace Barber (Lopp), 16th.
NA — Barber, 17th.
NA — Barber, 22nd.
NA — Lopp (Clara Worrall), 47th.
NA — Lopp (Treat), 50th.
NA — Treat, 54th.
NA — Layne Burke (Alaina Walker), 59th.
NA — Hadley Thompson (Lopp), 67th.
NA — Aliya Utz, 73rd.
Shots on goal: New Albany 29, Silver Creek 1.
Fouls: New Albany 7, Silver Creek 5.
Saves: New Albany — Bella Crist 0; Silver Creek — Meredith Antz 6, Emma Wilcoxson 9.
Records: New Albany 4-0-1, Silver Creek 3-4.