BY JEFF FALK
ANNVILLE – The argument is as old as team sports themselves. How much can one individual influence the outcome of a game?
Can a particular resource ever be over-used? And if said player can be contained, is that the key to neutralizing the team?
On Thursday afternoon, junior forward Reagan Hess led the Annville-Cleona girls soccer team to a 3-2 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three home win over Lancaster Catholic. While Hess scored all three Little Dutchmen goals, she certainly didn’t do it all by herself.
A track and field sprinter, Hess netted all three of her goals in similar fashion, utilizing her speed, foot skills and vision in the open field. Hess, who recently became the most prolific female soccer scorer in school history, has now tallied 15 of the 25 goals that the Little Dutchmen have scored this season.
The triumph lifted Annville-Cleona to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in Section Three. Lancaster Catholic slipped to 2-4 on the year and 1-3 in the league.
“Her job is to score the ball, and she knows her role,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Lisa Schuyler of Hess. “She’s doing what she’s supposed to be doing. (Goalkeeper) Anna’s (Soliday) job is to keep ball out of the net. If we didn’t have someone to score goals, we trained one. I’m fine with people calling it ‘The Reagan Show’, as long as we’re winning.
“She’s very fast,” continued Schuyler. “We take advantage of her speed. It’s playing off what other teams feed us. She’s a very good player. She finishes goals she needs to finish. But it’s not something that has come to her overnight. It’s not something she doesn’t work hard for.”
Hess notched what would prove to be the winning goal 5:16 into the second half. Sent ahead by teammate Julia Soliday, Hess took one touch with her right foot, gave a little head fake left and then slid a ball along the ground inside the near post to make it 3-1 Little Dutchmen.
With the outcome seemingly in hand, the Little Dutchmen appeared to go into a bit of a defensive shell after that. But with pace on its side, Lancaster Catholic pulled to within a goal of the lead with 12:26 remaining, when Sara Heise used her right foot to beat A. Soliday inside the left post.
While there were a few tense moments in the closing minutes, A. Soliday and the Little Dutchmen did manage to hold off the Crusaders, and hold on.
“We played well,” said Schuyler. “There were a couple of things at halftime that we tweaked and did better in the second half. We stepped up when we needed to step and finished when we needed to finish.
“In the first half we played well,” added Schuyler. “In the second half, they (the Crusaders) got a little more energy. In the second half we had to hold our ground, and we did.”
Hess put Annville-Cleona up 1-0, 12:26 into the match.
After working hard to stay on-side, Hess ran on to a lead pass from Sara Fischer about 25 yards from the Crusader net. With plenty of time, Hess surveyed Catholic keeper Julia Castagna, then decided to use her right foot to deposit the ball in the right side of the net.
“Reagan has been a great contributor for us,” said Schuyler. “Coming into the season we knew she was going to be close to getting the school record. We wanted it to happen right away. She’s performed the way we’ve needed her to perform. She hasn’t had too many games when she hasn’t scored. And she’s assisted on goals too.”
Five minutes later, Hess gave the Little Dutchmen a 2-0 edge, off another feed from S. Fischer. This time, the one touch with her left foot served to create space from a marking Crusader, and with the desired angle, Hess employed that same foot to go far corner.
But 3:16 before the break, Heise beat A. Soliday to a 50-50 ball. And when the ball popped loose, all that was left for Heise to do was touch it into the A-C cage, for the goal that cut Lancaster Catholic’s deficit in half.
“The two goals were definitely mistakes,” said Schuyler of the Crusader tallies. “It wasn’t something we were nervous about. They were things we needed to fix. When they (her players) played their game, they were fine.
“We played well in the back,” Schuyler continued. “We saw options we needed to see. We just needed to find our holes up front. We tried to get the ball to Reagan and take advantage of her speed.”
The final tally saw each side record 12 shots on goal, while the Crusaders enjoyed a 4-1 margin in corner kicks. A. Soliday logged seven saves.
Hess registered six of Annville-Cleona’s seven first-half shots, and finished with eight total.
“We didn’t have a whole lot lost from last year, but we didn’t gain a lot either,” said Schuyler. “We’re building off last year. We’re beating the teams we’re supposed to beat and losing to the teams we’re supposed to lose to. I think we’re a strong team. All of the top six teams in our section can play with each other, skill-wise.”
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Section Three Standings
2015 Annville-Cleona Girls’ Soccer Schedule
@Lancaster Country Day
|4:00 PM||W 5-0|
|7:00 PM||L 1-6|
|4:00 PM||L 0-2|
|4:00 PM||W 11-1|
|6:00 PM||W 5-1|
|4:00 PM||W 3-2|