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Shelton leads Pats past Lakeside

Faith Shelton (10), seen here playing against North Oconee, scored two goals Monday in a win over Lakeside-DeKalb. Staff photo Kurt Aschermann Jr.

Faith Shelton (10), seen here playing against North Oconee, scored two goals Monday in a win over Lakeside-DeKalb. Staff photo Kurt Aschermann Jr.

The future is bright for the Heritage girls soccer team, and that was evident once again Monday in Atlanta.

Sophomore Faith Shelton scored two goals and freshman Emily Kimpling added a goal as the Patriots defeated Lakeside-DeKalb 3-0 at Adams Stadium.

The victory, which was the sixth in a row for Heritage (11-3), was a nice tuneup for Thursday’s Region 8-AAAAA showdown with Gainesville.

Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in Class AAAAA (Gainesville is No. 5, while Heritage is ranked tenth) and carry 6-0 league marks into the 6 p.m. contest at Evans Memorial Stadium.

But the Conyers school wasn’t caught looking ahead to the Red Elephants as Shelton scored a little over three minutes into Monday’s game, thanks to a quick, hesitation move and a nice shot past Lakeside keeper Miranda McNalley.

Shelton, who was coming off a two-goal, three-assist performance in last Friday’s win over Salem, scored again less than two minutes into the second half. First, the forward made a great play to get the ball out of Heritage’s half of the field, then a few seconds later corralled the ball in Lakeside’s end and beat McNalley for a 2-0 lead.

“The key for Faith (is), she’s been playing with so much more confidence,” said Heritage coach Chad Suddeth. “Now she’s got a little bit of selfishness, and all the great scorers do. She’s been amazing. (And) getting the early lead, it couldn’t have played out better for us.”

That was more than enough for the Heritage defense, which pitched its fourth consecutive shut out and eighth of the year, and keeper Mady Carter, a Kennesaw State signee who made five saves.

Kimpling made it 3-0 with a beautiful goal at the 36:17 mark when her line drive shot snuck into the top-left corner of the net.

“The girls are confident,” said Suddeth. “The work rate is up, the positive energy is up. We’re clicking right now…we’ve gotten some results because of it. I love it.”