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Heritage girls shut out Eastside in soccer; boys play to a draw

— A little less than three weeks ago, the Heritage girl’s soccer team had a disappointing, 3-2 home loss against Loganville. Things have been much better since. Arielle Gunderson scored three goals and assisted on another goal and the Patriots had no trouble with Eastside, winning 7-0 in a non-region game Friday.

Gunderson, a midfielder who signed with the University of Florida, scored the first two goals of the game on assists from Kayley Wells and Courtney Hodges, then Gunderson fed Laura Zawadzki for a goal and a 3-0 halftime lead.

Heritage (13-3-1), ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA, won its third consecutive game by a combined score of 17-0. Meanwhile, the host Eagles had their six-game winning streak interrupted and fell to 8-6.

“Obviously, (the Loganville loss) was a huge, huge, disappointing result for us and we had an uncharacteristically poor performance,” said Heritage coach Chad Suddeth. “We came back from spring break and had a kind of rekindled passion, had some great training sessions…the attitude is great. Very, very proud of how the girls have responded. (Friday) was probably our best effort in a month, at least. Very quality performance from our top girl all the way to our 19th girl, they all really played well.”

In the second half, Hodges scored early as Wells picked up her second assist of the night and Gunderson completed her hat trick to make it 5-0.

“She was the best player on the field tonight,” Suddeth said of Gunderson. “She’s a special young lady, I’ve said that all along. She brings a different type of attitude (and) most of the time, the rest of the girls feed off of that…that energy.”

In the nightcap, Eastside's second-half goal, and more than 25 saves from its keeper, including a penalty kick save, was enough to force a 1-1 tie.

Mauricio Reyes scored the only goal for Heritage, which extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games (10-0-2) and moved to 11-3-3 overall. With the tie, Eastside moved to 8-4-2.

"Their keeper played really well (and) we didn’t finish well. Just didn’t finish," said Heritage coach Brandon Stewart. "If we take care of our chances, we destroy them. That last component that we got to get sharper for playoffs is finishing and we’re not there yet."