Eagles blank Trojans, 3-0

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Wednesday afternoon at Vista the Eagles (2-0-1 SVC, 7-1-1 overall) handed the Trojans (3-1-0 SVC, 5-3-2 overall) their first league loss in a 3-0 routing featuring Vista forward Kayla Hodge. Hodge was the walk-off victor for the Eagles taking the first goal and the last. In the first half the Eagles had trouble moving the ball out of the backfield through their midfielders, but instantly corrected that in the second. Though the Eagles led 1-0 at the half, neither team was putting together more than a couple touches before losing possession of the ball. For the Eagles the second half was all about fluidity of passes and shots on goal. Vista had a whopping 19 shots on goal in the game, most coming in the second half and quite a few in the final 10 minutes. Goalkeeper Megan Heddinger played about 70 minutes in front of the net with eight saves and no goals allowed. With a comfortable three-goal lead Vista coach Jimmy Frazelle pulled her out of goal and got her some time as a striker. Katie Sipiora replaced her in goal at the 75th minute. Hodge was easily the standout player of the match. She had the only goal of the first half in the 13th minute on a solid through pass by Katie Beattie. Hodge had another opportunity for goal on a penalty kick awarded shortly after, but struck the ball softly and directly to Oak Ridge goalkeeper Ashley Pearl. She struck successfully again in the 64th minute, but this time all by herself. Hodge maneuvered toward the near right post around the last defender with one touch and placed a touch on the ball to the far post corner netting. Vista’s other goal belonged to Annika Jansson in the 56th minute. Designated thrower Becca Chaffee moved up to about 20 yards out from Pearl in goal for a throw in. With a bit of confusion between Pearl and a defender, Jansson snuck in a finishing touch. Oak Ridge forward Rachel Mercik was aggressive on the take, playing heavy crosses in front of Vista’s goal. The Trojans struggled to put shots on frame and Mercik was left without an assist despite solid play and footwork. Brittani Pierce also took a number of shots for the Trojans, but all with too strong of a boot. Possibly the length of the grass on the Vista field took some getting used to but for the Eagles it was a well earned victory. Still with a strong league record, the Trojans will try to pull even with the current SVC leading Ponderosa Bruins on Monday by giving them their first loss. Ponderosa tied Vista 1-1 on Monday and easily took Union Mine 5-0 on Wednesday. The Eagles have a bye week followed by a match at Galt on Monday March 12. Currently Galt is winless and scoreless in the SVC with their most recent loss a 5-0 drought to Christian Brothers.