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Shutouts to start
Lady Pats win 3-0 while Heritage boys fall 1-0

CONYERS - Heritage officially kicked off its 2008 soccer season Tuesday night as both the boys and girls teams squared off against Flowery Branch with mixed results.

The Heritage girls captured a 3-0 win in the opener, while Heritage boys were edged 1-0 in the nightcap.

The Lady Patriots (1-0) went up 1-0 at 8:52 when Whitney Adkins took a pass from Nadia Bryan and buried it in the back of the net.

Heritage scored again at 36:24 when Megan Drish's long, looping shot from over 30 yards out bounced off Flowery Branch goalkeeper Torey McDowell's hands and into goal.

The last score of the game came in the second half, at 41:40, when Adkins' direct kick bounced off McDowell and was followed up by Constance Bates, who firmly placed it in the net.

Heritage girls coach Chad Suddeth said he was pleased with the way his team looked in its season opener.

"I thought we played really good," he said. "After the scrimmage (on Friday), we watched some game film. We played well in the scrimmage, but there were a couple of things we wanted to emphasize, and we executed them brilliantly. We changed the point of attack - that back-side diagonal pass was there all night and they did a great job of executing that.

"I'm very proud of the defense. Shutouts are always good - they make the keeper look good. I was a little frustrated with all the opportunities we had and only scored three goals, but that will come as we get more game experience. We're still trying to get that chemistry going, but we're getting there. We're taking steps in the right direction."

The Heritage boys (0-1) weren't as lucky in their season opener, losing a tightly-contested match to the Falcons.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle that ended in a stalemate.

But in the second half, Flowery Branch's Kyle Ellis broke the scoreless tie with a goal at 47:18.

The Patriots had a few solid scoring chances in the final five minutes, but they were unable to slip a shot past goalkeeper Zach Clark.

Both Heritage squads hit the field again Saturday at Habersham Central.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.