The Hillsboro girls soccer team lost to the traveling Pleasant Plains Cardinals on Wednesday, May 26. Madalyn Buxton led the way for the Cardinals by scoring a hat trick en route to their 5-1 victory. Hillsboro freshman Kinley Richardson scored the lone goal for the Toppers during the second half of play.
Pleasant Plains came out of the gates strong, putting pressure on Hillsboro’s defense early. Buxton, a senior for the Cardinals, would net the first score just five minutes in, after blocking a Topper clearance. The ball was batted down in front of the goal and Buxton made good on the shot to get things started.
Buxton would shortly get her second goal after making a run behind the defense. Junior Samantha Willis found Buxton cutting in and played a perfect weighted pass to her that Buxton buried in the back of the net to go up 2-0.
Freshman Sophia Smith would score just moments later after a miscue from the Toppers left a wide open shot in front of the net. A misplaced pass from a goal kick went right to the Cardinal attacker, who put a curling shot into the top right corner for the third goal of the contest, and final goal of the first half.
Topper sophomore Layne Rupert had Hillsboro’s best attempt at goal in the first half. Sophomore’s Isabella White and Sally Mattson combined for a 1-2 pass that led Mattson to the corner. Mattson then crossed a ball to junior Abbigail Schriber, who then passed right in front of the goal to a crashing Rupert.
Rupert tried to tap in a goal but the Cardinal goalkeeper got a foot on the ball and blocked the shot away.
Hillsboro was able to get one back in the second half, as Kinley Richardson netted herself a goal after some confusion in the Pleasant Plains box. White put a cross into the box that pinballed around, bouncing off Cardinal defenders until Richardson got a hold of it and made good on the attempt.
Hillsboro goalkeeper Avery Walden also had a strong performance. Walden, who was under pressure from a flurry of shots from the jump, did a good job of keeping things close and giving Hillsboro a shot at a comeback. With a number of athletic saves, the Topper goalie made her presence felt for her team.
The second half for the Cardinals was much of the same from the first half. Crisp passing kept the Cardinals in the driver’s seat, and created a number of scoring opportunities for Pleasant Plains.
Buxton would net her third and final goal of the day with 18 minutes left after a long through ball from a teammate. With the score Buxton would complete her hat trick for the day. Willis would also score after receiving a pass from freshman Adilynn Fraase, before finishing in front of the goal.
With the loss Hillsboro’s record fell to 11-4-1, while Pleasant Plains now sits at 14-3 on the season.
The game was one of three this past week as the Toppers prepare for regionals. Hillsboro defeated Staunton 4-1 on Monday, May 24, but fell to Williamsville 6-2 on May 29, to move to 11-5-1 on the season.
Hillsboro will be at home for their first game of the postseason on Friday, June 4, as they await the winner of Tuesday’s match between Carlinville and Southwestern.
May 26 at Hillsboro
Pleasant Plains 3 2 - 5
Hillsboro 0 1 - 1
Goals: Hillsboro - Kinley Richardson 1; Pleasant Plains - Madalyn Buxton 3, Samantha Willis 1, Sophia Smith 1.
May 24 at Staunton
Hillsboro 1 3 - 4
Staunton 0 1 - 1
Goals: Hillsboro - Kinley Richardson 2, Layne Rupert 1, Abbigail Schreiber 1.
May 29 at Hillsboro
Williamsville 5 1 - 6
Hillsboro 0 2 - 2
Goals: Hillsboro - Kelsey Holtgrave 1, Sophia Hernandez 1.