After strolling through pool play, outscoring opponents 18-2, the White House Heritage Patriots soccer team defeated a very talented Springfield Yellow Jackets team 4-3 for the 2013 Robertson County Cup.
The two-time defending champion Patriots defeated the Yellow Jackets 5-2 on opening night but could not quite pull away from the Patriots in the championship game rematch.
“Springfield played a very good game versus us today,” Heritage head coach Rett Roach said about the championship game. “We did not play as well as we could have but found a way to hold on to the game.”
Springfield came out unafraid of the Patriots despite the early tournament 5-2 loss and started the game controlling the ball but was unable to find an opening in the Heritage defense. Roach then brought in substitute Briana Wilhite as a counter to the pressure from Springfield with a goal to open up the game.
Minutes later, Roach’s decision paid off as Wilhite found an opening from the distance and drilled a shot into the upper right corner to open scoring at 1-0 in favor of Heritage.
Behind the goal from Wilhite, the Patriots began seeing more openings on the counter attack with sophomore Meagan Smith slotting a shot home in the 24th minute to extend the Patriot lead to 2-0.
Springfield, to their credit, kept pressing the Patriots despite being in an 0-2 hole finally breaking through with only 10 minutes left in the first half to cut the lead to 2-1 in favor of the Patriots.
After a very animated halftime speech from Coach Roach, the Patriots started gaining momentum as well as possession in the midfield. The extra possession from the Patriots allowed them to assault the Yellow Jackets at all angles capped by Smith finding the net in the 51st minute for her second goal of the day. The Patriots led 3-1 with 29 minutes left in the game.
Again, Springfield did not hang their heads despite a two-goal deficit and forced the Patriots to foul just outside the box for a free kick. The kick was rocketed high and took a bounce off the cross bar right to a waiting Yellow Jacket player who headed the ball into the goal cutting the lead to one goal once again at 3-2.
Heritage again felt the pressure of a one-goal game and responded as senior Hailey Boger followed up on a rebound from a shot in the 65th minute for a 4-2 Heritage lead late in the game.
The Yellow Jackets again found the net minutes later cutting the Heritage lead to 4-3 with 14 minutes to play in the game.
Springfield, desperate for a game tying goal with seconds running down in the contest, were repeatedly denied by the Heritage back line who coupled with sophomore forward Faith Williamson’s and her ability to take the ball to the corner and waste time.
“We got caught in the Harpeth game earlier this season not knowing how to waste time,” Roach said. “Faith has really taken that lesson to heart and does a great job of getting to the corners in the final minutes of a game.”
As the clock struck zero, the Patriots were 4-3 victors and three-time Robertson County Cup Champions.