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Heritage falls 1-0 at John’s Creek

The Heritage girls soccer team had its seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday, dropping a 1-0 contest to John’s Creek.

The Patriots (12-4), who are still unbeaten at 7-0 in Region 8-AAAAA, will play one more non-league tuneup Friday against Union Grove before hosting Loganville April 22 with the region title on the line.

“As I always say, we like to challenge ourselves with our non-region schedule, it doesn’t do anything but make us better,” said Heritage coach Chad Suddeth, whose team has lost three one-goal games. “The speed of play that we saw (Tuesday) was awesome. You have to play that level of team in order to get better, it’s hard to replicate it in practice. I like where we’re at (and) I’m glad we got a week to prepare for the region championship game.”

John’s Creek (9-4-1) scored on Patriots’ keeper Mady Carter with 16 minutes to play in the opening half for the only goal of the night. Carter, a Kennesaw State signee, made eight saves in the first, while freshman keeper Kylie Kersh made 11 second-half saves, including stopping a scoring chance when the hosts had a one-on-one breakaway.

“She played great, this is great experience for her,” Suddeth said of Kersh, who is expected to take over for Carter in 2015. “Saves like (the breakaway)…pays double dividends: it gives Kylie confidence she’s ready to take over and it also gives the other girls more confidence in her as well.”

Both the Union Grove game and next Tuesday’s game against Loganville will kick off at 5:30 p.m. at Evans Memorial Stadium.

“We’re in a good spot, we’re healthy and the girls are eager,” Suddeth said.

John’s Creek completed the sweep with a 2-1 win in the nightcap.

The Patriots (11-5) got to within 2-1 on a goal by Austin Kulp with about 20 minutes to go in the game, but couldn’t pull even.

“We pressed and pressed, just couldn’t get equalizer,” said Heritage coach Brandon Stewart. “Both teams a bit rusty (in the) first 20 minutes coming off spring break. We played hard, just poorly executed in the final third.”