The victory ensured third-ranked Harrison (10-3-1,
7-0) its second consecutive region championship and a No. 1 seed in the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
Hillgrove (11-3, 6-1) lost its first region contest and will be the No. 2 seed.
“We were both undefeated, and we know each other well, so it all came down to this,” Harrison coach Steven Riccard said. “Winning region is really impressive for this team. Compared to last year, there were two players on the field (Tuesday) — Hannah Deltac and our goalkeeper, Allison Leone — who started last year and played significant minutes.
“This team bought into what we’ve been teaching them, and to come out and win region again with a lot of new faces is big.”
The Lady Hoyas, who have won five straight games and eight of their last nine, got on the board early when Jessica Sperry took a pass down the right side from Anna Sims and blasted a shot past Hillgrove goalkeeper Breanne Dykes in the seventh minute.
Harrison outshot Hillgrove 8-2 in the first half and dictated play for the majority of the half. Leone stopped the Lady Hawks’ best opportunity with a save in the 19th minute.
The Lady Hoyas found the back of the net again in the 32nd minute, when Deltac dribbled past three defenders and nailed a goal from 20 yards out into the right side of the net.
“Our team was pumped and ready to play,” Riccard said. “They were all focused. We spend time in practice trying to keep and maintain possession of the ball with a lot of passing. I think that played directly into what we were able to do in the first half by controlling possession.”
Hillgrove was more aggressive in the second half and came out even on shots, 4-all. Ivy MacIntyre played in goal for the Lady Hawks in the second half and collected three saves, while Dykes finished with two saves.
Hillgrove had several opportunities as well, with Leone collecting three of her four saves after halftime.
The Lady Hawks were finally able to put pressure on the Lady Hoyas late in the game. Katy Huffman sent a deep pass to the center of the field in front of the goal where Diamond Thomas headed in a shot from 15 yards out over Leone’s head to trim the deficit to 2-1 in the 74th minute.
“This is our second straight year in the playoffs and our third time in four years,” Hillgrove coach Shannon Center said. “We understand the road will be a little bit more difficult as a No. 2 seed, but it’s not impossible. Our kids look forward to the challenge, and, hopefully, we’ll get to see Harrison again in the playoffs.”
Harrison 2, Hillgrove 1 (PK): Andrew Deltac redeemed himself for a missed penalty kick, lacing a goal past goalkeeper Austen Trevers to give the Hoyas an 11-10 win in penalty kicks.
After Johnny Klein stopped Hillgrove’s Kiman Greenfield on the Hawks’ 12th penalty kick attempt, Deltac stepped back up
and converted to lift Harrison to the Region 4AAAAA victory.
The win solidified Harrison (8-6, 5-2) as the No. 2 seed from the region in the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
The Hoyas have won four straight.
After a scoreless first half, Jordan Duru sent a quick-touch through ball to Jose Rodriguez, who scored to put the Hawks (5-9-2, 1-6) in front in the 42nd minute.
Harrison answered in the 45th minute when Brett Mace scored off an assist from Chris Birdsey to knot the score at 1-all.
The game remained tied through the rest of regulation and two overtime periods to set up a total of 24 penalty kick attempts.
Both squads made their first kicks, but Klein made a save on Hillgrove’s second attempt, while Deltac’s shot bounced off the right post.
Each side then made nine straight kicks until Klein got another save, leading to Deltac’s game-winner.
“This was a huge win for us for seeding in the region,” Harrison coach Jonathan Gross said. “Being able to host in the first round is a big advantage. If we lost (Tuesday), we’d be traveling to Savannah for the first round.
“Hillgrove’s down the street, and they’re a rival, so it’s nice to get a win over your rival, and Johnny’s been big for us all year. He made two excellent saves, and it’s nice to have someone like him back there that you can rely on.”