Hiltz goal gives Hornet girls win over Braves
Hiltz scores winner as Hornets edge Braves
Sophia Hiltz was just following her coach’s instructions when she scored the only goal of the game as host Great Mills edged out Chopticon 1-0 in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division girls soccer game on Tuesday.
The Hornets (3-4, 1-1 SMAC Chesapeake) have now won three of their last five games after losing their first two matches of the season.
“It feels really good,” Great Mills head coach Britni Kirker said. “I think the key to the game was we have a similar level of talent to Chopticon, so it was just keeping the energy high, keep pressuring the ball high and making sure we were first to every ball. I’m very, very happy with how we played.”
“I think for the most part it was an evenly matched game,” Great Mills’ Alyssa Brookhart said. “We definitely had to play our best and I think this was one of our best games yet and it was really rewarding for us.”
The Braves (3-4-1, 1-2) saw their two-game win streak snapped with Tuesday’s loss.
“I thought we came out flat early in the game, [but] in the second half we came out a lot stronger and played a lot smarter,” Chopticon head coach Bill Summers said. “But in the end they outplayed us tonight.”
“We may have lost, but I’m extremely proud of my team,” Chopticon’s Destiny Kendall said. “We’ve been working on certain things in practice, and they definitely showed tonight.”
Hiltz was just following orders when she lined a shot into the top far corner
past Chopticon goalkeeper Camille Cooley in the 20th minute for the only goal of the game.
“I basically just took a shot because that’s what we were told [by the coaches] that if you’re in front and you have a shooting opportunity, go for it, so I did and it went in,” Hiltz said. “But I honestly didn’t think it would go in because usually my shots just go right over, but I was actually surprised it went in.”
Great Mills had a chance to extend its lead in the 30th minute when Brookhart looped a high shot toward the goal, but Cooley (6 saves) batted it away.
“I actually thought it was going to go way far over [the goal], but I saw [Cooley] going for it so I was like, ‘Maybe it will go in,’” Brookhart said. “It didn’t, but it was close.”
The Hornets had another good chance in the 56th minute. Hiltz rushed down the right side and crossed it to Abby Joseph, whose point-blank shot was turned aside by Cooley and the rebound was struck wide by Zoe Carty.
Hiltz had a late chance when she dribbled around Cooley with a few minutes remaining, but the ball rolled too far for her to get off a good shot.
Great Mills goalkeeper Jasmine Medlock made 10 saves to earn the shutout. In the seventh minute, Medlock dove to smother a shot off the foot of Helena Lehr. In the 27th minute, she made a close-in save and then smothered the rebound with Chopticon’s Kendall and Abrielle Barnett on the doorstep.
“Jasmine’s a rock star,” Kirker sad of her keeper, who first played the position as a sophomore. “She was like, ‘I’ll just try it’ and then within a year she was the starting varsity goalkeeper. She’s got a really cool head, she’s calm under pressure and she looks like she’s been playing [the position] her entire life.”
The Braves were also awarded three corner kicks late in the second half but were unable to get off a quality shot.
“[Our chances] bounced around and we didn’t get complete, good on-the-foot shots,” Summers said. “They have a strong defense and back line, [but] we need to work on our forwards bringing the ball back but they stuck it out.”
Chopticon is scheduled to be at Calvert at 6 tonight, while Great Mills’ next game is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Leonardtown.
“I think this is the strongest team Great Mills has fielded since I’ve been associated with the program,” said Kirker, who was an assistant the previous two years. “We have a great group of seniors who really anchor us down in the middle, so I’m hoping we can finish at .500.”
“So far we’ve been doing a lot better than last year,” Brookhart said. “We’ve had some tough competitors [so far], but we lost by less than they were expecting. We gave them a run for their money.”
Chopticon’s Hailee Kosack, left, and Great Mills’ Sophia Hiltz battle for possession in Tuesday’s game. Hiltz scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 Hornets win.
Great Mills’ Alyssa Brookhart, front, holds off Chopticon’s Natalie Mumford during Tuesday’s game, a 1-0 Hornets win.