CONYERS - One soccer game was a blowout and the other was a nail-biter Friday night at Evans Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Patriots moved to 4-0 on the season with a convincing 14-0 win over Tucker, while the Heritage boys dropped a 1-0 decision to an old nemesis in Clarke Central.
How convincing was the Heritage girls' win?
Of the 14 goals scored, nine were scored by different people. Even the Heritage goalkeeper scored.
And the scoring occurred early and often.
Constance Bates started the scoring spree with a goal from point-blank range with 38:42 left in the first half. Michelle Borg made it 2-0 with 25:24 left on the clock with a shot from the top of the box. Less than a minute later, Megan Drish gave the Lady Patriots a 3-0 advantage with another shot that found the back of the net (24:28).
Shealy Kulp drilled a shot into the back of the net with 21:09 left to make it 4-0. Heritage struck again with 19:43 left on the clock when Nadia Bryan made it 5-0. Bates scored her second goal of the night with 10:54 left until halftime, putting Heritage up 6-0. The last goal of the first half came with 3:40 left on the clock off a shot from Whitney Adkins.
The second half was much of the same as Megan Drish kicked off the half with consecutive goals, the first, with 38:29 left, the second, with 27:55 on the clock.
Sydney Smith gave the Lady Patriots a double-digit lead when she scored with 15:49 left to play.
Janet Van Heest got into the scoring action with 11:59 left and Brittany Gray made it 12-0 with 5:25 left. Goalkeeper Melissa Drish came out of goal and took a position on the field, scoring off a shot with 1:15 left to play. The last goal of the game came off a penalty kick by Meredith Wilson after time had expired.
"It was a good win. A lot of people got to play and they had the opportunity to play in different positions, which is something that could help us down the road," Heritage girls coach Chad Suddeth said.
Bates was also pleased with the outcome.
"We worked as a team. We had good passing and we talked," Bates said. "It was just a good night for us. We came out fresh and we wanted to win."
The Heritage boys also played hard and wanted to win.
Clarke Central just wanted it a little bit more.
The boys game was definitely a more physical contest than the girls game.
Heritage's Ross Sellars and Clarke's Pedro De Paz both received red-card ejections after a scuffle ensued between the two.
Still, the game was a stalemate for nearly 70 minutes.
It wasn't until Braxton Hudson breached the Patriots' defense and scored a goal with 10:03 left in the game that the Gladiators gained the advantage.
Heritage had its chances during the game, the two most prominent coming in the second half. Tyler Peoples' shot hit the crossbar with 32:20 left and Umrani Muhammed missed a shot on a breakaway in the game's final minute.
But those were just two of the opportunities on a night the Patriots (1-3) just couldn't close the deal.
"We controlled the second half. We had all kinds of scoring opportunities," Heritage boys coach Mike Beshiri said. "They (Clarke) only had a couple of scoring opportunities, but on their third scoring opportunity, we had a letdown and they scored. We got a little frustrated, and that was that."
Despite the loss, Beshiri explained to his players that this game is not the end of world.
"It's not a big deal. It don't mean nothing," he said. "We'll see them again when it really matters. We're not going to peak early. We want to peak when we need to peak."
Both Heritage squads hit the field again Monday at home against Dutchtown.
Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans @rockdalecitizen.com.