The 10th-ranked Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats used the wind to their advantage and breezed past the South Effingham Lady Mustangs 4-0 Tuesday in the Region 3-AAA soccer opener for both teams.
Behind Brittany Way, the Lady Mustangs (0-4) kept the high-powered Lady Wildcats scoreless for the first 27 minutes, despite repeated Richmond Hill attacks on Way and the Lady Mustangs’ goal.
With 12:55 to play in the first half, Way came out to challenge Richmond Hill’s Lori Barnes. The ball found the foot of Richmond Hill’s Lindsey Vasher, who booted home the game’s first goal from the top of the 18-yard box.
The Lady Wildcats, averaging nearly four goals a game, stretched the lead to 2-0 with less three minutes left in the half. Vasher muscled her way past South Effingham’s Katie Pittman and fired a shot from the right side past Way.
Barnes opened the second half with a goal only 17 seconds in, powering a shot high from the right side for a 3-0 lead.
Way turned aside Katie Hudson on a long through ball with less than 17 minutes left. But a minute later, Lady Wildcats captain Lauren Hall chipped a shot over Way’s outstretched arms and into the net for the final tally.
- by Patrick Donahue
Wake up calls?
On Feb. 29, the Lady Wildcats slipped a bit from their usual game by losing to nonregion opponent Wayne County 2-1. Kollman said the girls had an off night and it gave the squad a few things to work on in practice.
"The Effingham and Wayne County games were wake up calls for our young team," Kollman said. "We did not show up to either game mentally prepared to play at a high level. The loss to Wayne showed the girls that teams are not going to roll over just because we are a top-ten ranked team. They knew they did not play well and the disappointment hurt. The good news is that our focus in practice has improved and we played a complete game in our 4-0 win at South Effingham the next Tuesday. This team will go as far as their mental toughness takes them."
The nearly-undefeated Lady Wildcats, who have racked up many non region wins thus far, will jump into a strong region schedule this coming week with slated competitions against St. Vincent’s, Liberty and an SEHS rematch.
- by Ross Blair