FREDERICK — Frederick sophomore Lorna Heil leaped up and down on the 8-yard line in celebration after netting the first goal of the girls soccer team’s season on the Warriors’ own home field on Tuesday night.
The shot, which soared over the head of Fort Morgan keeper Ainsley Soleta in the 28th minute, broke a scoreless streak that had plagued the Warriors four games into the 2022 spring season.
Heil wasn’t about to make it five. In the end, the Warriors tamed the Mustangs with a 6-0 final score.
“It was incredible,” Heil said. “We all knew that once we got that first goal, it would just set the momentum and be like a domino effect. Once we got that first one, everyone would click. For me to get that, I was just ecstatic.”
The Warriors had been waiting for their moment to shine all season long, and they came tantalizingly close twice before against Prairie View and Longmont. Those contests ended in double-overtime, scoreless affairs.
Overdue for a win, they made absolutely sure they would leave no doubt in crunch time. Throughout the final 52 minutes of play, Heil’s teammates Xitlai Guereca, Emma Phillips and Alexis Woodruff added to Frederick’s good fortune, as did the Mustangs on an own goal in the 49th minute.
Phillips sunk two of the Warriors’ scores, and the ladies made keeper Elaina Leither’s night fairly easy as they maintained most of the offensive and midfield pressure.
“I feel like we needed a change to win and have the drive to win and it finally paid off,” Phillips said. “It just relieving.”
Since head coach Sola Abolaji first took over the program a few months ago, he’s worked with the girls on improving their soccer IQ, their stamina and their athleticism. After game five, it’s clear his efforts, and the collective efforts of the girls on the pitch, are paying dividends.
It seems, now, that the floodgates have finally opened.
“Defense is the most important thing,” Abolaji said. “Defense is what will win championships and gets us into the playoff position, so the fact that we scored (six) goals is fantastic, but I’m most proud of the zero on the board. … This is just the outcome of all the work they’ve been doing.”