LAYFAYETTE — Annie Sullivan is one of just two seniors on this year’s Alexander Dawson girls soccer team but two seniors was enough on Wednesday.
Sullivan scored twice and classmate Alex Prea scored once to lead the Mustangs to a 3-0 win over Heritage Christian in their season opener at home. The senior pair dominated the bulk of the action — Sullivan both on offense and defense, where she started the game.
“I think we played pretty well and adjusted to some things we needed to adjust to,” Sullivan said. “I don’t normally play at the back so I was telling people to do some wrong things.”
Although she had to stay back for the most part, Sullivan wisely made the most of a few opportunities to move up in the attack.
Less than a minute after Prea sent a shot high off the crossbar, Sullivan dribbled her way through the Eagles defense for the first goal of the game in the 27th minute. Prea scored four minutes later to give the Mustangs a 2-0 halftime lead.
Sullivan said the Mustangs (1-0, 1-0 Mile High League) came out a little cocky at first with a two-goal lead to start the second half, which led to some good chances for the Eagles before Dawson shored up the defense.
Mustangs starting goalkeeper Ali Hinton was a perfect 5 for 5 on saves before leaving the game with a head injury after coming out to stop a breakaway in the 50th minute. Sullivan said Hinton is fine. They were just being extra careful with a safe lead in the first game of the season.
“She came out, but I kind of had to order her to,” Sullivan said.
Freshman keeper Brittany Lewis preserved the shutout, making two saves in the final 30 minutes. Sullivan’s second goal in the 69th minute put the game safely out of reach.
First-year head coach Bill Hempen — the longtime former Colorado Buffaloes coach — said it was a good performance for the Mustangs’ first time out.
“It wasn’t a masterpiece by any means, but they ended up surprising you,” Hempen said. “Sometimes you get frustrated in training and you put them in a game and there’s a different attitude. They did pretty good.
“Today, with everything they’ve gone through with me, I’m happy for them that they came away with the win.”
After starting late, the Mustangs will play their 15-game schedule in the next 28 days. They’ll be in Colorado Springs to take on The Classical Academy (3-1, 1-0) on Thursday.
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Alexander Dawson 3, Heritage Christian 0
At Alexander Dawson HS
Heritage Christian (0-3-1, 0-1) 0 0 — 0
Alexander Dawson (1-0, 1-0) 2 1 — 3
Goals (assists) — Alexander Dawson: Annie Sullivan (unassisted), 27th minute; Alex Prea (unassisted), 31st minute; Sullivan (unassisted), 69th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Heritage Christian: Heidi Friedrich (80-3-1). Alexander Dawson: Ali Hinton (50-0-5), Brittany Lewis (30-0-2)