NEW MARKET — Southmont soccer hosted Sheridan in girl/boy double-header on Monday as both Mountie teams got their season’s underway on the pitch. When the clock hit all zeros at the conclusion of the boys game which was played second, Southmont would end up with a season-opening sweep of Sheridan as the girls came away with a 2-1 victory and the boys were victorious by a final score of 3-1.
Hale plays hero to give mounties last second win
Sophomore Jessica Hale is a new face to the Southmont girls soccer program. She moved in this year from Kansas City, MO and is a highly skilled player. Hale wasted no time in making a fantastic first impression as the sophomore delivered the game-winning goal with just 19 seconds left to seal the Mountie win. She also assisted on the other Mountie goal that was scored by senior forward Elle Gray.
The Mounties and Blackhawks were pretty much even for the first 40-minutes of the season opener for both teams. Each had their chances to get on the board but weren’t able to find the back of the net.
Cecilia Timme scored the games first goal for Sheridan at the 32-minute mark of the second half. Instead of putting their heads down, the Mounties went on the attack and Gray would score just five minutes later to even the score at 1-1.
The last 26 minutes of the game proved much like the first 40 with neither team being able to score the decisive goal. Southmont fortunately was able to control the ball in the games final 30 seconds and Gray just missed on a shot, but the ball found its way back to Hale who patiently, with time ticking down, worked her way for a shot from just a matter of a couple yards away, and buried it.
“I think they were trying to give me a heart attack,” assistant coach Rachel Welliever said with a huge smile on her face after the win. “This was 100% their win. The momentum really started to go in our favor I think once we scored our first goal. That was a big point in the game, because momentum could have easily gone to them after they scored, but we responded immediately.”
Southmont along with Hale and Gray’s great play, got a stellar performance from junior Ashlynn Maddox who is stepping in as the new goalie for the Mounties this season. Welliever praised the work of her players who some were put into some new positions.
“Ashlynn played great tonight, and we couldn’t asked better of her,” Welliever said. “She’s been playing goalie only since we started practice a couple weeks ago and I was very proud of her. I wasn’t sure how it might go and I know she was pretty nervous but she gave all the effort tonight. Jessica fits really well into our team and she makes everyone around her better. She brings a little more upper-caliber style than what we’ve had in years past.”
Southmont will be back in action on Thursday when the Mounties welcome Sagamore Conference foe Western Boone.
Aggressive offense leads to Mountie win
The Southmont boys team may be young on paper, but you couldn’t tell that in their season-opening win on Monday. A season ago, the Mounties struggled to put together consistent offense and put the ball in the back of the net. In game one, South came out with an aggressive mindset firing 23 total shots on goal as they had a relentless attack against Sheridan.
It did take some time for the Mounties to finally put one in the back of the net, but Sophomore Tyler Petroski got the Mounties on the board with a goal with 10 minutes left in the first half. Just five minutes later, fellow Sophomore Hunter Gray put the Mounties up 2-0. Senior Skyler Wood would score the final goal of the game with 12 minutes to go in the second half as the Mounties got their season off on the right foot.
“We probably took more shots on goal tonight, than we did all of last year,” Southmont coach Stephanie Kennedy joked. “It’s a big deal for these guys to put a game together like tonight. We’ve been struggling to score the last few years so it’s nice to see attack like we did. Once we start scoring we can now start to figure out more facets of our game.”
Trai Fitzgerald scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks and it came with 14 minutes left in the second half.
What allowed the Mounties to have such a relentless attack on the goal was the fact that they were able to possess the ball for a majority of the game, something they also weren’t doing well a season ago.
“It feels great to have a team that wants to go out and score and wants to go after the ball,” Kennedy added. “These guys aren’t going to give up until they get the ball. One of my main goals is to work with them on communication and maintain that possession that we showed tonight. Overall we had the skill and ability to win a lot of games last year and starting out with a win tonight will be nothing but a confidence and morale booster as we move forward.”
Southmont will be right back in action this evening as they travel to Lafayette Central Catholic.
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