Brillianti’s four goals help lead Lady Hawks past Trinity
by Chris Goltermann
Trinity Christian coach Chad Whittle turned to his team following a loss to The Heritage School on Tuesday and told his girls they had played “probably one of the best teams they’ll face all season.”
The Lady Hawks, though, will find out later this week whether they’re among the best that Region 1-AAA has to offer this season.
An offense led by Sara Brillianti’s four goals had exactly that many prior to halftime and dominated play throughout a 9-0 shutout victory over Trinity’s girls, who found themselves backed up in its own end for much of 80 minutes of play.
Improving to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in 1-AAA play, host Heritage began an important week on the right foot, changing fields and using unselfish play to take advantage.
“We did some things very well,” said Heritage coach Ron Rineer, whose team only had a handful of practices between the Lady Hawks’ successful basketball season and the unrelenting winter weather. “Our goals this year as they have in the past, start with a region championship. I think we’ll know more about where we stand after we play Holy Spirit on Thursday.”
Heritage’s loss came in a 4-3 double-overtime loss to open the season against Deerfield Windsor, a state semifinalist in 2013, in a game the Lady Hawks led.
Holy Spirit (1-0) and Atlanta Girls (3-0) were the only other 1-AAA girls teams that entered this week unbeaten. Heritage plays Atlanta Girls on Monday at Silverbacks Stadium in Kennesaw.
Five Lady Hawks scored goals in Tuesday’s win and senior Ansley Dieckmann, freshman Catherine Heindel and sophomore Callista Eckert each set up at least a pair with assists.
Dieckmann and Eckert controlled play through the midfield, but Trinity’s defense withstood several early opportunities and four Heritage corner kicks before the Lady Hawks got on the scoreboard in the 16th minute.
Sullivan Wilkins, Phebe Warren, Gina Brillanti and Kate Everett also scored for Heritage in the victory.
The game remained scoreless through the opening 15 minutes.
Trinity goalkeeper Madison Roberts made several stops to keep the game scoreless early with Madeline Miles, Cora Gwinn, Shannon Stewart and Mary Katherine Taylor trying to withstand a constant wave of Heritage attackers.
It took a second-half surge for the hosts to begin to pull away starting with Brillianti’s left-footer in the opening minute after returning from the break for a 5-0 lead. The Lady Hawks junior finished up a four-goal night by deflecting in a pass from Heindel just moments after Everett clanged a shot off the crossbar for a six-goal advantage.
Everett wasn’t to be denied, however, scoring just under four minutes later after dribbling past a pair of defenders on the right side.
Brillianti picked up her first goal in the 30th minute after breaking in alone off a feed from Dieckmann to the left side.
Dieckmann finished with a team-high three assists including Wilkins’ game-opener in the 16th minute on a play that began off the foot of Eckert.
Wilkins later split a perfect pass between two Trinity defenders to freshman forward Gina Brillianti, who finished off the play with a low left-footed shot into the far-right corner.
Eckert and Heindel each finished with two assists.
Phebe Warren capped off the scoring with a volley at the far post off Sara Brillianti’s corner kick, the last of 10 attempted by Heritage in the win.
Trinity Christian teams will host Tattnall Square on Thursday including a litmus test for Trinity’s undefeated boys.
The Lions are off to a 4-0 start while Tattnall, out of 2-AAA, entered this week at 2-1 overall.