The last 160 minutes of regulation play (actually the last 260 minutes of overall play to be exact) have been some good times for the Hillsboro High School boys soccer team. In that span, three full games plus 20 minutes of overtime, the orange and black have kept their opposition scoreless.
On the shoulders of senior goalkeeper Shaw Riggs, last season’s South Central Conference all-conference first team goalkeeper in his first ever year of varsity soccer, coupled with an incredibly stout backline anchored by senior Frankie Passariello, junior Devin Speiser, freshman Deklan Riggs and freshman Griffen Hughes, the Toppers have been able to blank the teams they’ve faced while the offense has outscored their opponents 11-0 during that time. For Hillsboro, it’s a stretch they hope to keep rolling.
After a scoreless overtime tie against Pana last Thursday brought their record to 1-1-1, the Toppers returned to action Monday, March 15, as they hosted the Taylorville Tornados at the Hillsboro Sports Complex.
The home team wouldn’t waste any time taking it right to the visitors as they hopped on the offensive immediately. Hillsboro would almost break through just 2:30 into the contest as sophomore Adison Pollard used his speed to create some space and a good look on net, but the mid would push it just over the crossbar and out of play.
The Toppers would have several more looks on net just like it, but they’d have to wait until the 19 minute mark of the first to finally break through.
When they did break through it was sophomore mid Will Christian who finally pried the lid off as he beat the keeper to the low right side for the 1-0 lead.
The Toppers would double the lead minutes later as junior Ethan Lentz, taking a lead pass from Pollard, would pick up his first goal of the season to make it 2-0.
Hillsboro would nearly add a third in the final minutes of the half as freshman Elias Gutierrez rocked a shot on net that would deflect off senior forward Colin Butler, but Butler would be whistled for offsides and the game would stay 2-0 into the break.
When play resumed in the second half, the Toppers would stay all over the Taylorville squad but only be able to muster one more tally, this time with Lentz and Pollard connecting again and Lentz finishing to the low left side to extend the Hillsboro lead to 3-0. From there the home team would maintain a spread offense and a staunch defense to pick up the 3-0 victory.
It would be more of the same for the Toppers on Tuesday, March 16, as they traveled to Vandalia with orange and black scoring early and often to come away with an 8-0 victory.
The win was highlighted by two special goals, one by junior Matt Page and the other by junior Devin Speiser, who picked up their first ever career varsity scores.
Lentz would explode for four of his own and Christian and Pollard would chip in one apiece to give Hillsboro the resounding victory.
The win improved the Toppers’ record to 3-1-1 on the short season and 1-0 in conference play.
The Toppers are slated to host SCC foe Carlinville this afternoon, March 18, with varsity action beginning at 4:30 p.m.
March 15 at Hillsboro
Taylorville 0 0 - 0
Hillsboro 2 1 - 3
Hillsboro Scoring: Will Christian (unassisted); Ethan Lentz (Adison Pollard); Ethan Lentz (Adison Pollard). Hillsboro Goalkeeper: Shaw Riggs (3rd shutout).
March 16 at Hillsboro
Hillsboro 8, Vandalia 0
Hillsboro Scoring: Ethan Lentz 4, Matt Page 1, Devin Speiser 1, Will Christian 1, Adison Pollard 1.Hillsboro Goalkeeper: Shaw Riggs (4th shutout).
Record: Hillsboro (3-1-1, 1-0).