Patriot offensive attack overpowers Jeeps

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Heritage Hills' Hadley Lytton, Lydia Genet and Xiana Scott celebrated a goal during Thursday's 7-0 victory for the Patriots over Northeast Dubois at Lincoln City. Genet had a hat trick and Lytton added a pair of goals in the victory for the Pats as Heritage Hills has now outscored their first two opponents of the season 10-0. For more photos from the match, click here.

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

LINCOLN CITY — High school soccer season is underway and the Heritage Hills girls have started out their season with a bang. The Patriots posted their second shutout victory on Thursday evening in Lincoln City by defeating the Northeast Dubois Jeeps 7-0 in a non-conference battle.

Patriot head coach Andy Fischer has a lot to like after these first two games of the nascent season starting with how his girls executed the game plan and attacked from the start without ever letting up.

“They did a really nice job. We’ve been working on some things in practice with possession and trying to read the defense,” Fischer said. “They did a nice job of knowing when they can take the girl one-on-one or playing the ball into space and it paid off.”

Heritage Hills was able to get out to a fast start thanks to a pair of goals in the game’s first twenty minutes. Freshman Hadley Lytton was the first girl to find the net after she banked a corner kick off one of the defenders and the ball subsequently rolled into the net.

The Patriots followed up with multiple shots on the Northeast Dubois goal as the Pats dominated ball possession for the majority of the first half. Jeep sophomore goalie Kariann Scherzinger put up a valiant effort against the onslaught, blocking a few shots while altering other attempts that sailed over the top crossbar of the goal.

But the dam eventually gave way to the Patriot pressure as junior Kiersten Schuler was able to get in a solo score to put Heritage Hills ahead 2-0 near the halfway point of the opening half. Another round of shot attempts and blocks followed as the Patriots almost never left the Jeeps side of the field. Senior Lydia Genet found the net again at the 7:59 mark to increase the lead to 3-0. Scherzinger managed to get a piece of it, but the ball was moving with too much mustard on it for her to stop the shot.

It wouldn’t take long for Heritage Hills to find the back of the net once again as freshman Alexis Smith found a cutting Genet on a pass through the traffic which allowed her to score another one for the Pats. The Patriots tried to sneak in one last goal with about three minutes left before halftime, but they were unable to sneak that last shot beyond Scherzinger. Still, the team had made its presence known as Heritage Hills went into the break with a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Jeeps coach Dylan Robling did his best to use the halftime period to not only motivate his team to keep fighting despite the deficit, but also tried to make the necessary adjustments to get back into the game.

“We talked a lot about their play. They like to dribble the ball down to the corner and cross it in,” Robling said. “So we tried to make sure that everyone is marked up in the center instead of hugging their shape.”

“We tried to get off our goal line,” added Scherzinger.

But none of it seemed to matter.

Northeast Dubois keeper Angel Dill called to her teammate Hali Nesbitt from the goal as Heritage Hills' Kiersten Schuler approached during Thursday's battle in Lincoln City. The Jeeps two goalies — Dill and Kariann Scherzinger — both made valiant efforts to stop the Patriots attack but the constant pressure was too much for Northeast Dubois' defense. For more photos from the match, click here.

Fischer made sure his girls didn’t rest on their laurels during the second half, and the Patriots came out with a purpose to close things up early and often during the course of the final 40 minutes.

“I’ve been talking to them a lot about toughness,” said Fischer. “Toughness isn’t all about being physical, it’s about being mental in the game in all aspects.”

Genet scored one more goal in the second half, a straight shot to the net to give Heritage Hills the 5-0 lead. All in all she finished with three goals to lead the Patriots.

“I trusted my teammates when they crossed the ball,” Genet said. “I trust that it’s going to fall into my feet. They’re the reason that I score. Assists are just as important as goals.”

“She just has a nose for knowing where to put the ball in the net,” added Fischer.

Lytton would score once more on a fast break with about twenty minutes left in the game, while fellow freshman Ella Schnieders scored the final goal to seal the game 7-0 with about six minutes remaining.

Lytton finished the game with two goals while Schuler and Schnieders contributed one apiece. Fischer liked a lot of what he saw from his girls Thursday evening, but the coach did see some things his girls can sharpen at this early juncture of the season, particularly in controlling possession of the ball.

“We have to win the ball out of the air,” he said. “And win the second 50-50 ball and anticipate where it might go. That just comes with playing more.”

Robling and the Jeeps were obviously disappointed in the outcome, but the coach believes that a game like this can be used to teach the team its limitations and inform them of how to get better for their next time out on the field.

“I think we learned some things on what our team can do,” he said. “We were able to see that tonight so that’s something we can work on.”




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