Even South Forsyth, which had lost only three games going into Tuesday’s game at Cobleigh Stadium and led the Region 6AAAAAA standings, couldn’t throw the Lady Hoyas off-balance.
In its first game in 12 days, Harrison put together a one-sided 5-0 victory in a non-region game.
Harrison (13-0) has now strung together a streak of eight consecutive shutouts. The Lady Hoyas haven’t been scored upon since beating East Coweta on March 4. In that same span, they’ve scored 52 goals.
“We came back early from spring break to get a couple of practices in,” said Lizzy Sieracki, one of five Harrison players who scored Tuesday. “We were nervous going into it, but once (the nerves) went away, we felt confident.”
If Harrison displayed any nerves, it was only during the first 10 minutes of the game.
After Audrey Tanner scored to put Harrison on the board in the fourth minute, South Forsyth (9-4) threatened a minute later, when Rachel Shah had an open shot, but the Lady Hoyas’ Isabel Heckman cut her off and cleared the ball. Heckman also cleared out the corner kick that followed.
The turning point may have come about 6 minutes later, when Shah had a close-range shot on Harrison goalkeeper Allison Leone, but Leone blocked Shah’s powerful kick. Then, after Heckman cleared another South Forsyth corner kick, the Lady Hoyas’ defenders kept South Forsyth at a reasonably safe distance.
Shah accounted for all of South Forsyth’s shots, while Harrison’s 24 shots were spread out.
After Tanner scored the early goal on a Heckman assist, Harrison didn’t score again until the 36th minute, when Treva Aycock scored the first of her two goals. Aycock’s shot attempt from the left of the box bounced off South Forsyth goalkeeper Hannah Goudy’s left hand and into the net.
“We created chances and had some near-misses (early), and sometimes that can come back to bite you,” Harrison coach Steve Riccard said. “Fortunately, it didn’t (Tuesday).”
After Aycock’s first goal, Harrison’s shot attempts became more successful.
The Lady Hoyas even caught a break right before halftime, when Paige Porter’s shot attempt from behind the penalty box defected off the right post, right where Savannah Vanderbeck was standing. With Gaudy out of position, Vanderbeck tapped the ball into the goal for a 3-0 lead.
Sieracki’s goal came early in the second half when she headed a Katlyn Kauffman corner kick. Aycock then capped Harrison’s scoring in the 51st minute, when Vanderbeck dished the ball outside to Aycock, who took a steep-angle shot that landed in the left side of the net.
“This was a big game to mark where we are,” said Riccard, who led the Lady Hoyas to the Class AAAAAA state finals last year. “I think we measured up and executed our game plan perfectly.”