CONYERS - Heritage's soccer squads battled to a split with Loganville on Friday at Evans Memorial Stadium.
The Heritage girls suffered their first loss of the season, falling 3-2 to Loganville in penalty kicks. Meanwhile, the Heritage boys captured a 4-0 win in the second game of the twin bill.
Loganville 3, Heritage 2 PKs
The doubleheader began with a highly touted matchup between the No. 9-ranked Lady Patriots and the No. 14-ranked Lady Red Devils.
And the two teams did not disappoint.
It took all of regulation, two five-minute overtime periods and 18 penalty kicks to decide a winner.
But in the end, it was Loganville that edged the Lady Patriots in PKs, 7-6.
"I really don't think there was much of a difference between the two teams out there tonight. It was just a great game between two really good teams," Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said. "Even in PKs we didn't separate ourselves. We went to extra PKs."
The Lady Patriots (8-1 overall, 1-1 in Region 8-AAAA South play) took an early lead when Brittany Gray squeezed one past the Loganville keeper with 35:01 left in the first half, however, Loganville evened the score at 1-1 less than three minutes later.
Loganville took the lead with 24:17 left in the half off a goal by Danielle Brannon, but Heritage's Megan Drish tied it again less than 30 seconds later with a lofted shot into the back right corner.
The scoring slowed down in the final 20 minutes of the first half, although both Heritage and Loganville had chances. Both teams would have scored in the final four minutes of the half had both keepers not made fantastic saves.
Both defenses pitched shutouts in the second half, sending the game into overtime. However, after two five-minute overtime periods, the score still stood at 2-2.
In PKs, each team missed its first two shots before hitting six in a row. Loganville made good on its ninth PK and Heritage had its shot bounce off the crossbar, giving the Lady Red Devils the win.
Despite the loss, Suddeth said the experience might be a good thing for his team.
"It's a good learning experience for the girls. A lot of the girls have taken the loss hard, and I told them that there was nothing I could say at this point to make them feel better," he said. "The players are obviously disappointed, but in a way, that makes me feel good. If they weren't upset, I'd be worried, but that's not the case."
Heritage 4, Loganville 0
The Heritage boys took control early and were able to pick up their second straight 8-AAAA South win.
Heritage jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 38:53 left until halftime off a diving header by Tyler Peoples.
Jaimie Abrejo gave Heritage a 2-0 lead with 25:19 left after tapping a shot past the Loganville keeper.
The 2-0 score held until the break.
In the second half, Heritage (5-3, 2-0) went up 3-0 with 26:51 left in the game after Corey Rodgers ripped a shot past the keeper.
The final goal of the contest came with 5:30 left off a goal by Young Shin.
Heritage boys coach Mike Beshiri said he's been very pleased with the way his team has played lately.
"The last three games we've gotten a lot better. Everybody is coming together and they're relaxing," he said. "I've got more and more people going in and we're not missing a beat."
Brandon Evans can be reached at email@example.com.