By Travis Smola
The Lady Bulldog soccer team has had its struggles the last few years, but things were really looking up this season.
“We just came out and played well,” Assistant Coach Brad Moldovan said after the girls picked up an 8-0 shutout win over South Haven. “Overall, we just played well as a team and were able to move the ball and put the ball in the back of the net.”
The defense was stellar all night against the Rams as goalkeeper Haley Town only had to make two saves thanks to the awesome play of the Vicksburg defenders. But equally impressive was the Bulldog attack. Sophomore Chloe Hatridge opened the scoring with an assist from fellow sophomore Sarah Hewitt. Not long after that, Hatridge scored again, unassisted this time, to make the score 2-0. She put in a third goal late in the game, but it was called back on an offsides.
Junior Leah Johnson was the third Bulldog to score, lofting a long shot over the head of the South Haven goalkeeper. Not long after that, senior Hailey McConnaghy made it 4-0 with an assist from sophomore Abby Martin.
Sophomore Taylor Bays scored next to make it 5-0. After the half, she widened the lead to 6-0 with an assist from Hewitt. Johnson scored again after that to make it 7-0. After that, McConnaghy ended the game with about three minutes left with her second goal of the game. She was assisted by Hatridge.
“It was one of our better shooting performances of the year,” Moldovan said. The game marked the fifth shutout win of the year for the Lady Bulldogs, who started off a little slow against some tougher schools at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve built a lot from there,” Moldovan said. “We had some puzzle pieces to figure out with some players not returning. Since then the girls have played well and turned the season around.”
A big benefit last year was all the freshmen players got to compete at the varsity level and now have a lot of experience under their belt. It should spell good things for the Bulldogs in years to come. “As they continue to progress and playing together as a team, they’ll really improve in the next couple years as we move forward,” Moldovan said.