High five: McMillen posts quintet of goals in Lady Knights’ win

High five: McMillen posts quintet of goals in Lady Knights’ win
Dave Mast

This celebratory picture was a fairly common occurrence in West Holmes' 5-3 win over Loudonville on Saturday, Aug. 28, where West Holmes teammates of Allie McMillen were flocking to celebrate a goal from the star sophomore.


Scoring a goal in soccer is a guaranteed way to set off an on-field celebration. When a player scores two, it’s even more exciting, and getting the hat-trick of three goals is a very rare feat.

But five goals?

That is the stuff of legends, and on Saturday, Aug. 28 at West Holmes High School, Allie McMillen became a legend, cranking home all five of the Lady Knights’ goals in a 5-3 win over a solid Loudonville team.

“I’m pretty sure that is a school record, although it wasn’t my intention at all,” West Holmes head coach Schuyler Snyder said of the five-goal effort. “We like to spread it around, but it was a magnificent effort by Allie."

McMillen’s offensive onslaught began at the 34:22 mark of the first period when she took a beautiful service pass from Kali Woods and rifled home the game’s first score into the upper-left corner.

Loudonville’s Sydney Pollen quickly found the equalizer at the 20:52 mark, where she hit a scorcher that WH keeper Mia Halverson had no prayer of stopping, but McMillen worked her way through traffic for an unassisted goal at the 16:52 mark in the first half for a 2-1 Lady Knights lead. She then got a nice assist from Kenzie Fair at the 9:15 mark in the half and chipped it over the keeper for a 3-1 lead. However, with just 58 seconds to play in the half, Redbirds star Emma Templeman gave the Redbirds plenty of momentum with a score that made it 3-2 WHHS at the half.

When Snyder chose to move her athletic star scorer back to the midfield to help defend in the second half, McMillen responded by finding a way to work through players to add the fourth goal, and the final score came with her moved clear back as a defender, where she continued to haunt Loudonville by scoring her final of the five goals on a long, direct kick.

“I’m just here to score goals,” McMillen said. “No, really it was a team effort, and we’ve worked hard to get better, and we’ve really come together nicely this season. But scoring five goals is not something I thought about.”

McMillen said she built her own kicking wall during the off-season, which she said really helped her work on her game. She said because her teammates were able to work the ball around well and find open spots in the field, she just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“The combinations just seemed to work in her favor in the second half after we moved her back,” Snyder said of McMillen. “The kid is talented, and she knows how to bury it when she sees an opportunity. She also understands the little details of how to shift to get in the proper position.”

Despite receiving hordes of congratulations after the game, McMillen continued to deflect her game-changing effort to her teammates, instead talking about how impressed she has been with her teammates’ willingness to get after it this summer.

“We have worked so hard this summer to improve,” McMillen said. “We did Crossfit every day, we worked at camps, and because of that, we read each other really well, and this was all just from us playing together as a team.”

Snyder said even with the five-score outburst from McMillen, she and the rest of the team don’t really care who scores as long as they are getting the job done. This one just happened to be McMillen’s time to shine. That has led to a very fun start to the season.

“We’ve got great leaders on this team who don’t care about individual stats,” Snyder said. “They are 100% in this thing together as a team, and in my years of coaching, I have never seen a team come together like this one has. It’s 80 minutes of supporting each other.”

Snyder said the team practices this summer consisted of running ball-movement drills until the girls were sick of them, and then run some more. She said it has paid off, and the players are seeing the field and moving to open spots well.

“They are getting it, and when that happens, it turns soccer into a beautiful sport,” Snyder said.

Getting off to the fast start with a large freshman class has been important to the Lady Knights, and Snyder said the veteran leaders played a big role in guiding them toward the team concept.

“We’re just trying to chip off our schedule one by one, and winning early is a huge contributing factor to our returners, and it is energizing us,” Snyder said. “I am seeing a lot of competition in practice with girls fighting for positions, and that’s all I can ask.”

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