Prior to every season, Patriot girls’ soccer Coach Kelly Payne assigns captains — “mama ducks” — to help the underclassmen transition to high school on the soccer field and in the classroom.

If an underclassman — “baby duck” — is going to be late for class, or are falling behind in the classroom, they relay the message to an upperclassman, who then tells Payne.

Friday in Nokesville, the “baby ducks” returned the favor in the Pioneers’ 4-0 win over Dominion as freshmen Kathleen Brumagin and Amanda Nhek combined to score three goals.

The two midfielders are a major part of a very talented Pioneers (2-1) six-player freshman class, five of which saw significant time in Friday’s win. Brumagin said the upperclassmen have been very welcoming of the standout freshmen.

“We’ve become family and it’s only two weeks into the season,” Brumagin said. “I feel like I’ve known these girls forever.”

The freshmen playing well early, makes up for the void left by second team All-Met forward Kristin Schnurr (Penn State commit), a junior who is playing club ball this season due to personal reasons.

“We’ve got a lot of great players coming in. Everyone has really stepped up and has been really positive,” Payne said. “It’s actually been a lot of fun this year with the freshmen.”

Brumagin struck first in the 21st minute from about 30 yards out, sailing a shot over the Dominion goalkeeper’s hands on a very windy night. Junior defender Shannon Blackstone added the first-half’s second goal in the 32nd minute from 40 yards.

“That’s how we play, we’re very attack heavy with our outside backs,” Payne said. “They have great shot selection. The wind helped us a bit, too, but we talked about playing off the wind pregame.”

Nhek got on the board in the 64th minute after turning a Titans turnover into a goal as she snuck a low, soft shot past the goalie. She scored her second goal six minutes later on a breakaway shot with a defender on her hip.

“I had the right mindset going into the second half. I couldn’t think about the first 40 minutes,” Nhek said. “Kelsey [Reynolds] gave me some great balls so a lot of credit goes to her.”

Senior goalkeeper Ruby Williams held Dominion scoreless in the first half, but freshman Cassidy Boyes stepped between the posts in the second. Boyes saved nine shots against a relentless Dominion (1-1) attack that generated 11 shots on goal after the break. It was the Patriots’ second consecutive shutout.