After nearly pulling out a win in their opening game against Jerseyville, the Hillsboro girls soccer team put on a show in front of their home fans on Thursday, April 22. The Toppers found the back of the net just two minutes into the game and never let up as they beat Beardstown 9-0 at the Hillsboro Sports Complex.
Hillsboro controlled the pace from the outset, keeping the ball in the Beardstown side of the field for much of the first half. The Tigers’ struggles to clear the ball out of the defensive end helped lead to Hillsboro’s first scoring chance as they were awarded a corner kick just two minutes after the opening kick.
The long ball would deflect off Abigail Schreiber’s knee and Kelsey Holtgrave bodied it into the net to make it 1-0. Holtgrave wouldn’t be done as she scored another poacher’s goal, following in a loose ball in front of the net and getting a foot on it just before the Beardstown keeper could make the save.
After netting the first two goals, Holtgrave shared the wealth for the third score, sending a cross to Layne Rupert in front of the penalty area. Rupert would send in a low shot to the right past the hard-charging Tiger goalie to make it 3-0.
The Topper sophomore would get her second goal of the game at the 26-minute mark when Kinley Richardson placed a lead pass through the defense and Rupert drilled it home to make it 4-0.
That would be the end of the scoring for a while, but Hillsboro’s chances continued as #16 hit the crossbar with 15 minutes to play in the first half. Beardstown would show some life as goalie Avery Walden would touch the ball for the first time on a free kick that rolled through and senior defender Nikya Harston swooped in to block a hard shot from the left side of the net to preserve the shutout with eight minutes to play in the half.
With 6:33 on the clock, the scoring restarted for the Toppers. Trailing the action, Rupert snagged an errant clearing attempt and dribbled in for a high shot over the goalkeeper’s head to make it 5-0. She would get her fourth of the day less than three minutes later when she kneed in a cross from Holtgrave to make it 6-0.
Hoping to catch Hillsboro napping, Beardstown had their best chance of the game on the restart, but launched a shot over the net to remain scoreless.
After playing a part in the first score, Abbigail Schreiber got into the scoring with one minute to play as Richardson led Rupert, who dished off to Schreiber for goal number seven in the half. Any hopes of the Tigers escaping without further carnage was dashed in the final seconds as Harston sent a long clear from the back field right to the foot of Rupert in front of the goal. With less than five seconds on the clock, Rupert slotted home goal number five to ensure the mercy rule would be utilized in the second half, which was trimmed down to 30 minutes.
Coach Dave Mattson would utilize his JV for the entire second half, which proved to be a more equal test for both teams. #9 hustled back on a breakaway for a score-saving tackle, while JV keeper Melissa Bell made a good stop with two minutes left to guarantee the shared shutout with Walden.
Kinley Richardson scored late on a beautiful shot to the far post with 34 seconds to play for the final 9-0 margin.
Hillsboro’s next game will be Tuesday, April 27, as they host conference foe Staunton, who is 2-0 on the young season.
April 22 at Hillsboro
Beardstown 0 0 - 0
Hillsboro 8 1 - 9
Hillsboro Scoring: Layne Rupert 5, Kelsey Holtgrave 2, Abbigail Schreiber 1, Kinley Richardson 1. Goalkeeper: Hillsboro - Avery Walden/Melissa Bell.
Record: Hillsboro (1-1).