(Cover photo credit: Conor Revell)
Sacred Heart’s soccer team ran over visiting Mercy 10-0 Monday night in a battle of two perennial powerhouses
Mercy (1-6) has won four straight Sixth Region title while the Valkyries (4-0-1) were state champion last year and has won the Seventh Region title three straight seasons.
“In every game we focus on how we can get better,” Sacred Heart head coach Jaclyn Puntillo said. “Mercy is traditionally a very strong team. They’re plagued with injuries right now. They’re missing Bailey Locke and a couple of other starters. That makes it difficult but for us we just like to focus on ourselves even in a game like this. We have some things that we are working on – playing a little bit faster and working on our first touch.”
Cassie Amshoff and Brielle Heuglin led the Valkyries with two goals apiece while Meredith Coleman, Erin Herbert, Ashley Durik, Kiley Polk, Sophie Mankowski, and Callie Birk each scored one goal apiece.
Amshoff, Polk, Mankowski, Birk, Hueglin, Durik, and Herbert gave the Valkyries a 6-0 halftime advantage.
“We showed great character tonight,” Mercy head coach Tim Nowak said. “They’re really an enjoyable group. We know who we are and we aren’t satisfied with the results by any mean. We don’t have the talent that Sacred Heart has right now but we’re building towards that. What I found out is that the players love to play soccer. They were determined to defend well and not a single player was hiding even at the end of the game. No one looked at me and said I’m not ready to go in. I have all day for players that have that type of attitude.”
Herbert, Hueglin, and Amshoff scored goals in the second half. The game ended on a mercy rule goal by Amshoff with five minutes remaining.
“We were working on our speed of play and trying to take as many shots as possible,” Heuglin said. “
Sacred Heart is coming off of a grueling scoreless tie with third-ranked West Jessamine last Saturday.
“Brielle did a ton of work in the offseason,” Puntillo said. “She is extremely talented but also sees the field very well and is a very dynamic player. She was able to finish off a goal at the end of the game something that she has grown from since the beginning of the season in her ability to finish. She shot one over the goal from three-yards out against LexCath at the beginning of the season. She has been working on that over the course of the season and that showed today.”
The Jaguars are in the middle of a tough week as they face top 10 opponents in Lexington Catholic and Manual later this week.
Sarah Buse and Kate Dutton stood in the goal for Sacred Heart while Mikayla Miller and Morgan Scott manned the goal for the Jaguars.