For the second time in as many matchups against Heritage in girls soccer, Leesville Road emerged with a 3-0 win in less than ideal weather conditions. Just about 15 minutes before kickoff. the skies opened and rain drenched the field for much of the first half, not letting up until nearly halftime.
The Pride (12-2-1, 6-2) didn’t let the rain hamper their plans. Just over 3 minutes into the matchup, off an early corner, the ball was batted around and sent in, giving Leesville a 1-0 lead it did not squander for the rest of the match.
After the first goal, Leesville held most of the momentum, forcing Heritage goalkeeper Ariana Correa to make a few dazzling stops.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the half, Leesville added to its lead when Hannah Arostegui was fouled inside the box and scored on the ensuing penalty kick. The shot went just past the outstretched left arm of Heritage goalkeeper Ariana Correa and in.
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The Pride took a 2-0 lead into the break.
As Sarah Cade, assistant coach of the Pride, described, her players were not just content with that halftime lead.
“The girls out here that are juniors and seniors really showed that they understood that being up two at halftime is not anything to be getting excited about, and the ones who have that experience played some solid defense and really tried to lead the team through those last couple of minutes,” Cade said.
Add a goal scored by Reagan Norvell with 39 seconds remaining, and Leesville wrapped up a 3-0 win to kick-start the back end of its Cap-8 season. The Pride now sits squarely in 3rd place of the Cap-8, chasing undefeated Wakefield and second-place Millbrook. While the position is not ideal, said Cade, it creates an exciting end to the season.
“We are definitely chasing after (Wakefield and Millbrook), we are not the top looking behind us,” she said, “but it’s a little more exciting to be chasing from behind like that, and taking the next six games one game at a time.”
For Heritage (7-5-1, 4-3-1), coach Todd Sloan admitted that tonight his team looked a bit slow coming off of spring break.
“We just looked very slow coming off of spring break,” Sloan said, “but that’s not an excuse because Leesville also came off of spring break. Leesville just did a little bit better job in those 1-on-1 battles tonight.”
After the game, Sloan was already looking ahead, and he wants his team to do the same.
“We need to just keep moving forward and find a good level of consistency.” Sloan said. “For four or five games at the beginning of the season we had a good rhythm and were playing nice soccer, this is an opportunity in the next four or five games to get that rhythm back.”
Heritage will get that opportunity to move forward when they travel to Sanderson on Tuesday night, and Leesville is next in action on Tuesday night as well, at home against Broughton.