Published Saturday, May 05, 2012
From STAFF REPORTS
This was not the ending that The Heritage School's soccer team expected heading into Friday's GISA Class AA State Semifinal at First Presbyterian.
A 6-1 loss in arguably the Lady Hawks' most disappointing outing of the season made a long bus ride to Hinesville feel endless.
By then, however, the 2012 season was already over.
Unable to capitalize its early chances, Heritage's Region 1-AA champions fell behind 2-0 but managed to cut the lead in half on a goal by Conner Heindel.
But three unanswered goals by 4-AA champion First Presbyterian to close the first half all but ended the Lady Hawks' hopes of returning to the Class AA state finals for a second consecutive season.
"The most disappointing thing about it was we didn't give them our best game," said Heritage School coach Ron Rineer. "They outworked us in the first half. It was like the perfect storm."
The loss ended the most successful run by any set of soccer seniors with the Lady Hawks' program. Three of the team's five upperclassmen were part of Heritage's five consecutive region championships while eventually reaching at least the quarterfinal round every season. The Lady Hawks have now reached the state semifinals in four of the last five years.
Heritage ends its season with a 14-2 record.
"For our seniors, it's unprecedented what they've accomplished," Rineer said. "I really felt like this was the year that we could take another step. But there's only one group of seniors in the state that get to say they won their final game of their career. Today was one of those games where everything went wrong. It's a tough pill to swallow."