Heritage Girls Soccer Team

Photo by Angelo Garcia Jr.

The Heritage High School girls soccer team celebrates after winning its North Coast Section opening-round game over Liberty.

Heritage High’s girls soccer team kicked its season off in December with a 5-0 loss to Carondelet. On Saturday, Feb. 19, the Patriots met the Cougars again, this time in the second round of the North Coast Section playoffs. While Heritage did give Carondelet a much better game, the result was the same. The Patriots season came to an end with a 1-0 loss to the Cougars.

But in between two losses to Carondelet, Heritage had a season to remember. Including the two NCS playoff games, the Patriots had a 12-3-4 record. They won the Bay Valley Athletic League, posting a 9-0-1 record, with the one draw coming against Liberty. Heritage added another win against a BVAL opponent, defeating Liberty 2-0 in the NCS opener.

“I think we had a great season,” coach Kellan Christensen said. “The goals were to become a good team and win the league. We wanted to win the league outright -- Heritage hadn’t done it for a while and felt we had a good team that could do that. We wanted to make a deep NCS run. We would have liked to have gone deeper but won the first round and had a tough second-round draw.”

One particular trait that Christensen lauded was his team’s depth. It showed offensively, as 11 different Patriots scored at least one goal on the season. Nine of those had at least two. Heritage’s depth showed even greater in passing, with 15 different players notching at least one assist.

Seniors Madison Del Prado, Makeila Yancey and Kaya Scott led the way statistically. Del Prado had 13 goals to lead the team and finished with 27 points, which was tied for the most on the team. Yancey also had 27 points. Her 10 goals were second on the team and her seven assists were tied with Scott for the team-high. Scott scored three goals to finish the year with 13 points.

Del Prado, Yancey and Scott were three of five players to have at least 10 points on the season. Joining them were sophomores Jasmin Staples and Kayla Robinson. Staples had four goals and two assists while Robinson finished the season with three goals and four assists.

“Sometimes it was really hard to pick a starting 11,” Christensen said.

Heritage also was strong defensively. The Patriots allowed 16 goals on the entire season and only four during league play. Much credit for that belongs to the goalkeepers -- sophomore Cate Toal and junior Isabella Gela, as well as defenders, senior Jayden Sanders and junior Karlee Lywandowsky.

Also working in Heritage’s favor is the team’s youth. The Patriots are graduating nine seniors this year. But both goalkeepers, as well as players like Staples, Robinson, Lywandowsky will be back. Additionally, the Heritage junior varsity team won the BVAL, as well, posting an identical 9-0-1 record.

“I think we are going to be very competitive for the next couple of years,” Christensen said. “Obviously I don’t know what’s coming in. But we played a lot of seniors and had a lot of good, younger players. We’ll be good for the next couple of years. We have a lot of potential in the pipeline.”

But while the future is bright at Heritage, Christensen also knows that the nine seniors are going to be hard to replace.

“We’re going to miss them,” he said. “It’s probably one of the best teams to come through Heritage. It was loaded with talent -- a bunch of D-I girls -- girls who are more than likely going to play college soccer. It was a really good team.”

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