CONYERS - The Heritage soccer teams kicked off their 2009 campaigns with mixed results against Grayson on Tuesday night at Evans Memorial Stadium.
The Heritage girls battled to a 1-1 in the opener, while the Heritage boys dropped a 4-0 decision in the nightcap.
Heritage 1, Grayson 1
After a scoreless first half, the Lady Patriots struck for the game's first goal in the opening minute of the second half.
Shealy Kulp set up the goal by hustling to track down a loose ball on the left wing. Then, Kulp slid a pass over to Nadia Bryan, who fired a cross deep in the box to Michelle Borg at the far post.
Borg, a sophomore, buried her shot for the 1-0 lead with 39:07 left in the game.
"It was a very nice goal. We've been working on finishing some service for three weeks now," Heritage girls coach Chad Suddeth said. "That was a nice hustle play by Shealy to get a loose ball. Nadia made a great trail run and made a great service to Michelle, who timed her run perfectly and hit it right in stride. It was a beautiful goal."
The Lady Rams tied the game with 14:09 left in the game when Erin Griffin scored from deep in the box.
The Heritage girls had one last chance to win the game in the final seconds, but they could not get off a shot after a Grayson turnover.
"Against a quality, quality, quality opponent, this is the type of effort we were hoping for," Suddeth said. "It was a little bit sloppy, but I'm proud of the result. I told the girls the result was not as important as our performance was. We've definitely got to clean some things up, but it was good to get a look at a team with that kind of speed and that kind of physical nature."
Grayson 4, Heritage 0
The Rams spoiled the coaching debut of Heritage's Brandon Stewart, scoring two goals in the each the first and second half.
Grayson dented the scoreboard in the fifth minute of the game on an own goal when Heritage's Young Shinn accidentally pass the ball back into his own net.
With 8:52 left in the first half, Grayson's Travis Csere scored for a 2-0 advantage.
Csere struck again 4:28 into the second half for the Rams, while Gimel Gordon closed out the scoring with 3:35 left in the contest.
Heritage's Francisco Pimentel and Se Hoon Ahn both had good scoring chances in the second, but they were denied by the Rams keeper.
The Heritage squads open Area 8-AAAA play on Friday night at Cedar Shoals in Athens.
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at email@example.com.