On a night Sacred Heart celebrated its seven seniors, it was only fitting that two of them tallied goals for the Valkyries.
Seniors Helen Lindner and Lauren Haas scored in the first half to lead Sacred Heart to a 3-0 victory over visiting South Oldham in a showdown of top-10 teams Wednesday night. The victory capped off a perfect regular season at home for the Valkyries.
“It was really nice to finish off this season at home undefeated for those seniors,” said Sacred Heart coach Jaclyn Puntillo, whose team is 6-0 at Horton Field this year and has a unbeaten streak of 20 consecutive matches there, too. “We’ve had trouble scoring, at times this season, so for two of them to step up and finish off some goals (tonight), that was really special.”
It was the 14th victory in the last 15 games for the Valkyries (15-2), who are No. 3 in the state’s Maher Rankings.
“It was just a good way to end the season, and our four years at Sacred Heart,” Lindner said.
All seven Valkyrie seniors started against the eighth-ranked Dragons (14-4), including defender Sami Smith, who suffered a broken leg Sept. 13 at Evansville (Ind.) Reitz Memorial. Smith was only on the field for a few seconds, though.
Sophomore standout Abigail Zoeller, playing the rare role of substitute due to the septet of senior starters, checked into the game in the 8th minute and made an immediate impact. Her corner kick in the 10th minute led to Lindner’s header goal.
“I just knew where she always plays it,” Lindner said of Zoeller. “I just got my head on it and found the lower corner.”
Eighteen minutes later, Zoeller recorded her team-high ninth assist of the season when she dropped a ball just outside of the box to Haas, who collected the pass then lined a left-footer into the goal.
“I’m not left-footed, I was surprised,” Haas said of her fourth goal of the season.
Sacred Heart freshman Kiley Polk poked in a goal, off a feed from Cat Fell, with 10:52 to play to account for the final margin.
The victory was the 13th shutout (and the 12th for sophomore goalie Sarah Stodghill) of the season for the Valkyries, who have outscored their opponents 53-6 — including 25-1 at home.
Both teams begin district tournament play next week.
Sacred Heart 3 (Helen Lindner, Lauren Haas, Kiley Polk), South Oldham 0