Editor’s note — This story details both the girls and boys soccer games between Hillsboro and McClain played Thursday in Greenfield.
GREENFIELD – The visiting Lady Indians soccer team took on the McClain Lady Tigers in their second meeting and the final Frontier Athletic Conference match between the cross-county rivals, and Hillsboro completed the season sweep of McClain with a convincing 10-1 victory.
Brooke Ulicny led the way for the Lady Indians with five goals against the Lady Tigers, including four goals in the second half of the rivalry match that allowed Hillsboro to put the game out of reach.
Samantha Blair was the only other Hillsboro girl with multiple goals in the game. Blair recorded back-to-back goals for the Lady Indians in the first half to put the Lady Indians ahead of the Lady Tigers 3-0 at the 14:22 mark of the opening half of play.
Bryanna Bledsoe netted Hillsboro’s fourth goal with 7:48 to play in the first half. The Lady Tigers were unable to break through the Lady Indians’ staunch defense in the first half and trailed Hillsboro 4-0 at halftime.
Ulicny got the Lady Indians going early in the second half with her second goal of the game at the 39:24 mark and Hannah Holland scored for Hillsboro with 37:22 to play to put the game out of reach for the Lady Tigers.
Brooklyn Lucarello had accounted for the other score for Hillsboro as she netted a goal with 6:55 to play that was sandwiched between Ulicny’s final three goals of the second half.
Alexia Sheppard led the way with two assists in the game while Ulicny, Holland, Bledsoe and Hannah Hopkins recorded one assist apiece for the Lady Indians.
Hillsboro goalkeeper Mackenzie Dietrick recorded one save on the night and allowed a single second half goal to help the Lady Indians secure the victory.
Kerrigan Pollard recorded the only goal of the game for the Lady Tigers after a hard foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick that she sent into the net with 11:46 to play in the game.
Defensively for Hillsboro, Mackenzie Adams had seven defensive stops, Gracie Dearmon recorded five and Catherine Baucom had four as the Lady Indians took the fight to the McClain girls all evening.
Hillsboro will wrap up its season on Tuesday, Oct. 13, when it hosts North Adams before preparing for tournament play.
In the boys game, the Tigers handed the Indians a lopsided 6-0 defeat as McClain goalkeeper Noah Reeves was able to make several nice saves in net for the Tigers to preserve the shutout. Bryson Badgley recorded the first hat trick of the season for the Tigers and led McClain to the season sweep of its cross-county rival.
“When we went to their place I feel like it was an even battle… Tonight I feel like we did a great job, we did a great job of showing we are definitely the top team,” said McClain coach Nick McNeal.
McNeal expressed pride in the effort that Badgley has put forth in his first season as a member of the Tigers soccer program.
“He is getting more aggressive… He’s been coming a long way and he keeps on getting better each game. A hat trick, that’s huge,” McNeal said. “That’s our first hat trick of the season. I’ve had boys get two goals in a game, I’ve had kids get two goals and two assists in a game, but the three-goal hat trick; that’s a huge accomplishment.”
Jase Allison recorded the first two goals of the game for McClain and Haydon Hice recorded the third to account for the first half scoring for the Tigers as they took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
“Jase Allison did great for us tonight with those two early goals as well. He attacked the ball,” said McNeal. “The aggressiveness towards attacking the ball, I think, is what really won the game for us.”
Braedon Bergstrom had five assists in the game to lead McClain and Allsion recorded the sixth assist for the Tigers.
“The kids moved off the ball well, they communicated well, they made good runs and that’s what got us opportunities and we finished our opportunities,” McNeal said. “I’m very happy with the play and it feels good getting a win like this going into tournament time.”
McNeal took the time after the game to acknowledge the quality of play that the Indians displayed and said, “Hillsboro, they are a solid team, they are a good team. We knew we had to come out heavy to win this game, we had to come out ready to score… We knew we had to score first to make them play a little more defense on the attacking side.”
The Tigers have three matches left this season with home games against Circleville and Waverly and a road matchup with Westfall as they prepare for tournament play.
The Indians will host Clinton-Massie on Monday, Oct. 12 as its final tune up game before tournament play.
Ryan Applegate is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.