Hart's Alyssa Irwin (16) heads the ball towards the goal in the first half against Immaculate Heart at College of the Canyons on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

Hart girls soccer advances to finals of Hart Varsity Showcase

The Hart girls soccer team continued its dominance at the Hart Varsity Showcase on Friday morning, defeating Immaculate Heart 4-0 at College of the Canyons. The Indians were the early aggressors, attacking relentlessly in the first half to the tune of eight shots on goal and seven corner kicks. Hart’s defenders along with its midfielders kept pushing the tempo, which led to several scoring opportunities for the forwards. Senior forward Ali Thompson got the scoring going for the Indians in the 10th minute. Attacking midfielder Mia Petralia crossed the ball into the box and Immaculate Heart couldn’t clear the ball. Thompson got her foot on it and netted the game’s first goal. “It feels good, we’ve been scoring a lot. Everything that leads up to the goal is important,” Thompson said. “My first goal got things started and we as a team just worked hard. It’s definitely teamwork. Soccer is a team sport and everyone contributes in their own way and it’s important for all of us to do our best and work hard. That’s how we win.” Petralia along with Mialani Noble and Stefani Woll were extremely active throughout the game, racing for every ball and making smart passes to create more scoring chances. The midfielders were able to maintain possession and kept pressing high the whole game, rarely letting Immaculate Heart make it past the midfield line.
Hart’s Alyssa Irwin (16) kicks the ball away from Immaculate Heart defender Bella Roney (2) at College of the Canyons on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal
“We’re really sharing the ball. They don’t hesitate, everyone is helping, the ball is moving fast and confidence is high,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “The fact that everybody is pitching in with assists and scoring gives everybody confidence. We’re playing confident, but we have to keep building on it. We can’t be content where we are because it’s still a long season.” The few times the Pandas were able to get into Hart territory, the smothering Indians defense led by Jensen Shrout, Jessica Deegan and Julia Melchiorre was able to put a stop to the attack. Immaculate Heart didn’t record a single shot on goal the entire game. “They’ve been very good,” Mitrovitch said about his defense. “Here at Hart, we try to build from the back. We take pride in getting shutouts. I think early this season, a couple of games we didn’t get the shutouts, but now we’re kind of rolling and we want to keep building on that.” In the three games they’ve played in the tournament, the Indians have scored 17 goals and haven’t conceded a goal in five straight games. Woll scored Hart’s second goal in the 20th minute off of a corner kick she took. The ball curved beautifully between the goal post and Immaculate Heart’s goalkeeper, bouncing off her fingertips and into the goal. Later in the game, Woll found Alyssa Irwin for a goal, crossing the ball into the box and Irwin was able to get her foot on it and net Hart’s third score of the day. Thompson also scored once more in the final minutes of the game. She struck the ball with such power that the opposing goalkeeper couldn’t handle it, dropping it behind the goal line. Hart will face Granada Hills in the finals of the Hart Varsity Showcase at 11 p.m. on Saturday at Hart High School.
Hart’s Ali Thompson (22) kicks the ball towards the goal in the second half against Immaculate Heart defender Mia Tetrault (11) at College of the Canyons on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal
“We’re excited to be in the final. Should be a good game, they are a good team,” Mitrovitch said. “We just have to focus on recovering today and try to start the game very well like we’ve been doing lately and make sure we keep them away from our goal. Do what we’ve been doing and hopefully things are going to fall in to place.”

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