Toppers Score Last-Second Win In Game For Grace

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The Hillsboro girls soccer would rebound from a loss to Litchfield on Monday with an 8-1 victory over Riverton on Friday, May 21, then won again on May 22, with a hard fought victory over Taylorville by a 4-3 final score.

The team paid tribute to Grace Herschelman before the Taylorville game after she passed away on Wednesday, May 19, after a long battle with infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy. Both teams had a moment of silence before the game and Hillsboro wore purple ribbons and “eye black” to honor the Hillsboro nine-year-old.

In the early going, the game was all Hillsboro, with Layne Rupert, Kinley Richardson and Abbigail Schreiber giving their team a 3-0 first half lead.

As good as Hillsboro was in the first half, Taylorville was just as solid in the second. The Tornadoes scored one inside the first five minutes, then netted goal number two four minutes later.

Hillsboro would pick up the defensive effort and hold Taylorville at bay until there was 10 minutes left in the game when they scored the equalizer.

After the goal, Hillsboro pressed for the win. Both teams would put several shots on net, but both keepers, including the Toppers’ Avery Walden, made big saves to keep it tied.

With a penalty kick shootout looming, Sally Mattson took possession near the 18-yard box on the right side and placed a hard shot on goal after a few dribbles past the defense. 

The Taylorville keeper would deflect Mattson’s shot, but directly to Layne Rupert, who put herself in a perfect spot with a run to the far post and scored the game winner as time expired.

The win improved Hillsboro’s record to 10-3-1 on the season and create momentum going into the final week of the season. The Toppers’ next two games will be on Monday, May 24, at Staunton, followed by a non-conference tilt with Pleasant Plains at home on Wednesday, May 26.

May 22 at Hillsboro

Taylorville 0 3 - 3

Hillsboro 3 1 - 4

Goals: Hillsboro - Layne Rupert 2, Kinley Richardson 1, Abbigail Schreiber 1.

Record: Hillsboro (10-3-1).

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