The youth of the Heritage boys soccer team was on display Tuesday. Four players - all freshmen and sophomores - scored goals and sophomore goalkeeper Connor Domeleski made a diving save in penalty kicks to preserve a 2-1 victory over Grayson at Evans Memorial Stadium.
Heritage had a 4-3 advantage in kicks after sophomores Adam North and Steven Bishop and freshmen Edder Mendez and Jonathan Mendez scored goals against Grayson keeper Jonathan Grifin. Grayson’s Brandan Stepps tried to even things up, but Domeleski made a diving stop, his second save in five penalty kicks, to preserve the non-region win.
Jordan Rojas and Armin Fakhrai had beaten Domeleski, but the Patriots’ keeper saved Ermin Omeragic’s shot. Ryan Sanders also had a goal for Grayson.
Heritage didn’t register a shot on goal in either of the two five-minute overtime periods. Domeleski made two saves - one of which was a Sebastian Sandoval shot that he poked over the top of the net with 3:49 to play in the first extra session. Omeragic had a great chance, but he was high with shot as the buzzer sounded as the second overtime came to a close.
Heritage got on the scoreboard first at the 20:36 mark of the opening half when after a corner kick, Jonathan Mendez corralled a rebound and got a shot past Grifin.
The visitors picked up the equalizer late in the first half thanks to its own first-year player. Freshman Austin Casbarro had a beautiful header for a goal that evened things up at 1-1 with 1:45 to play.
Grayson would’ve gone up 2-1 at the 30:10 mark of the second half, but after scoring, Omeragic was ruled offsides.
Jennifer Westendorf had a hat trick and Ella Stevens added a goal and an assist in the Grayson girls 6-1 win in the first game of the night.
Westendorf, a sophomore forward, picked up her hat trick in less than six minutes in the opening half. The sophomore beat Heritage goalkeeper Mady Carter at the 9:27 mark, then made it a 3-0 game with 6 1/2 minutes to play.
The visiting Rams poured it on over the final five minutes of the half. Amanda Baker has her initial shot kicked away by Carter, but not far enough and Baker scored to put Grayson up 4-0.
Baker again had a shot knocked away by Carter, but this time Westendorf was the recipient of the rebound and her third goal of the night made it a 5-0 contest with 3 1/2 minutes to play until halftime.
“They’re absolutely loaded,” Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said of Grayson.
Carter, a Kennesaw State signee, made six early saves, including a diving stop when Westendorf broke free at the 15-minute mark. The Rams finally broke the scoreless tie 40 seconds later when Stevens found Andrea Lazcano for a goal.
After the Rams’ shutout bid was interrupted on a long goal from about 30 yards out by Abbey Dunlop with 14:34 to go in the game, Stevens beat Heritage backup keeper Kylie Kersh with just over six minutes to play.
“We knew (Grayson was) elite coming in. We got a slice of humble pie tonight,” said Suddeth. “We wanted to see how we measured up. This will pay dividends down the road.”