FISHERS — The Pendleton Heights girls soccer team was rewarded after Thursday night's 6-0 win over Anderson with a chance to play Class 2A, No. 5 Fishers for the sectional championship.
Pendleton Heights (9-9) held its own for the first 36 minutes, but when the Tigers (12-2-3) got rolling they didn’t stop. They got four goals between the 36-minute mark of the first half and three-minute mark of the second half on the way to a 6-0 shutout victory Saturday night at Hamilton Southeastern.
The Arabians played in defensive mode most of the game, and it resulted in them not getting the ball past midfield until the 34-minute mark of the opening half and registering only three shots on goal.
Pendleton Heights coach Mark Davy said he told his girls before the match to leave it all out on the field, and he feels like they did just that.
“I told them, ‘all I want is all you got,' and they gave me all they had,” Davy said. “That’s all I can ask for as a coach.”
When the wheels started falling off for the Arabians, their coach said one of the main reasons was the exhaustion of chasing a team full of top-notch players.
“I know we were just dead tired from playing 40 minutes of basically chasing them around,” said Davy. “We did miss the mark. We didn’t shift unfortunately, and they scored one. We kind of let down for the second one.”
Fishers has about 23 players in its lineup and was able to stay fresh with multiple substitutions. Davy said his girls are close to the same level from an athletic standpoint, but the Arabians experience a bit of a drop in talent compared to a program like the Tigers run.
“I think they have about 23 girls – all at the same level,” he said. “Not that our girls aren’t far off, but we do have a little drop off there.”
Fishers was held to two goals in the first half, but the Tigers stormed back to kick in four more in the second half en route to their championship victory.
Davy said he talked to his girls about after the match about their progression from the start of the season and how far they had come from that point to last night’s match.
“I just told them I was proud of them — how they played, where they came from at the beginning of the year to now,” said the Arabians coach. “I told them a month ago it probably would’ve been a lot worse than 6-0. So I’m just proud of them for the effort they put in tonight.”
Davy said his younger girls learned from this experience, and he feels like they will come back stronger and more determined for next season.
“That’s the exciting thing about this team is that we have three or four that start varsity, and it’s just a young nucleus that we have in each class," Davy said. "That freshmen and sophomore class has just developed well. We’re excited about next year.”
The Arabians graduate just two girls from this year’s team, with both Ellie Swinney and Hannah Watts being seniors.