Hiltz goal gives Hor­net girls win over Braves

Hiltz scores win­ner as Hor­nets edge Braves

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Great Mills’ Alyssa Brookhart, front, holds off Chop­ti­con’s Natalie Mum­ford dur­ing Tues­day’s game, a 1-0 Hor­nets win.

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