The Richmond Hill Hornets U12 girls soccer team traveled to Columbus this weekend to play in the district 6 championship. The Hornets enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 victory on Saturday morning over the Columbus Jaguars.
A Saturday afternoon game against the Columbia Crew from Augusta was much closer. The Hornets fell behind early in the second half but seemed to be energized by the setback. The Hornets tied the game from a beautifully constructed attack down the left side.
Defender Cheyenne Prescott won the ball and passed it to midfielder Alison Kaye. Kaye dribbled past two defenders then played the ball across the middle of the field to the onrushing Hornet striker Sarah Connelly who gave the goalkeeper no chance with a powerful drive into the corner of the net. The Hornets continued to press the attack and, in the last minute of the game in an identical move, Prescott to Kaye to Connelly produced the same result – an unstoppable shot and a close 2-1 Hornets victory.
Sunday morning, thunderstorms left the soccer fields looking like a rice paddy, but five Hornets goals drowned the chances of the Columbus Girls Inc. team and put the Hornets into the district final, where they faced the Macon Athletics.
The final was played on Sunday afternoon. The fields had drained well and were now completely dry, and the Hornets started the game with a very strong wind at their backs.
The Hornets were unable to take advantage and, after a goal-less first half, the teams switched ends so that the wind now favored their opponents. Hornet goalkeeper Mackenzee McCauley made several fine saves and, when McCauley was finally beaten, defender Arielle Wathan made a wonderful save by controlling a high shot with her chest before calmly clearing the ball out of danger.
A strong Hornet attack down the right wing by Jasmine Marquez resulted in a high cross that was handled in the penalty box by a Macon defender. Sarah Connelly made no mistake from the penalty spot, and the Hornets held on for an exciting 1-0 victory.
The Hornets will return to Columbus next weekend to compete with the other district champions in the state rec soccer championship. Of the 32 teams entered in the district round, the Hornets were the only team to record 4 straight victories, and were also the highest scoring team with 12 goals. Sarah Connelly was the top scorer with 7 goals.