Tuesday, April 17, 2012
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MCDONOUGH -- Tuesday's regular season finale against Eagle's Landing was just what Heritage girl's soccer coach Chad Suddeth was looking for.
Arielle Gunderson scored both goals and the Patriots' defense pitched a shut out for nearly the entire evening in a 2-1 victory in McDonough. Heritage, ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA, finished the regular season 14-3-1, winning their final four games.
Eagle's Landing (11-4), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped, took a 1-0 lead less than six minutes in. But Heritage clamped down on defense and Gunderson, a University of Florida signee, scored the equalizer off a long punt from keeper Mady Carter with 6:44 to play until halftime.
It didn't take the visitors long to take the lead for good in the second half. Within the first minute, Clayton State signee Courtney Hodges found Gunderson, and Gunderson put away a header to make it 2-1.
The Patriots out-shot Eagle's Landing 22-6 in a physical game that Suddeth was glad his team was involved in with the Class AAAA state playoffs beginning May 2.
"(Eagle's Landing is) tough, they're real physical, real fast. It was a great look for us going into the state tournament, the perfect type of game we needed," Suddeth said. "Certainly wasn't our cleanest effort ... it was good for us to have a tough, tight game, especially with the physical nature of the game. That's what we're going to see in the state tournament. I'm proud of the girls for responding."
The boy's nightcap between Region 8-AAAA champion Heritage and Eagle's Landing ended too late for this edition.