Hawks Advance to District Soccer Championship Game With 9-0 Shutout of Festus

The Hillsboro Hawks enjoyed a terrific offensive night in Monday’s Class 3, District 2 soccer opener.  Hillsboro scored nine goals en route to a 9-0 victory over the Festus Tigers in the first semifinal game.  The win advances the Hawks to the championship match on Thursday against the Windsor Owls, 5-1 winners over DeSoto in the second semifinal match.

The beginning of the Monday’s match against Festus started with the Tigers initiating play in the very early going.  It took a little while for Hillsboro to start moving the ball forward, but when they did…they did it with authority, and they did it often.  Just over five minutes into the contest, Isaac Readnour found the back of the net to give the Hawks the only goal they’d need.  “We did kind of get off to a slow start,” said Readnour.  “But once we got into the groove and played our game, we were on a roll.”

They certainly were.  Almost four minutes later, Mark Moore scored his first goal of the match, and then six minutes later, Andy Maynard scored on a penalty kick to make it 3-0 Hawks.  Rounding out the scoring in the first half, Grant Beck knocked in a rebound off a Colton Leonard shot with 14:37 left in the half to give Hillsboro a 4-0 lead.

The majority of the half was spent with Hillsboro attacking, a credit to the speed of the host team compared to the Tigers.  Moore said having a teammate with a great deal of speed is the key to their game.  “Well, Isaac (Readnour) is a lot faster than most people, so that always helps us out,” he said.  “We played together tonight, and it went well.”

The second half saw the Hawks pick up where they left off.  At the 31:09 mark, Moore tallied his second goal with an assist from Readnour.  Less than a minute later, Gavin Wokurka scored his first ever varsity goal to give Hillsboro a 6-0 advantage.  Two minutes later, Maynard scored his second goal of the match off a rebound.  Readnour got his second goal with 19:42 to go in the match, and Beck scored the final goal with 13:05 remaining to give Hillsboro the 9-0 win.

Readnour said the team’s success was simple.  “We just tried to look for the open gaps and not force the ball.  Also, we just tried to be in the right position and correctly read the plays.”

Goalie Seth Oshia wasn’t tested often, but made three saves in the match.  Despite the lack of action, Oshia has no trouble staying on top of the game.  “Just because my role isn’t challenged in games doesn’t mean I can let up,” he said.  “Continual team play and strategy when the ball is at our end of the field is needed.  Keeping everyone in position and talking to my teammates is what I do to help keep my mind in the game at all times.  Having Joe Bogowith as a mentor the past two years helped me learn that talking is a good way to stay in the game if you are not getting a lot of action.”

Along with two goals each by Readnour, Moore, Maynard, and Beck, and the single tally from Wokurka, Hillsboro got three assists from Moore, and one each from Jacob Bogowith, Leonard, Readnour, and Frank Tello.

So the stage is set for Thursday’s title tilt agains the Windsor Owls.  The Hawks, 9-10-2, met the Owls, 13-11-1, back on October 9.  Hillsboro used three goals in the second half to win 4-1.  Moore had two goals, while Maynard and Sergio Cruz had one goal each in the win.  Oshia made ten saves.  Thursday’s championship match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Hillsboro High School.

According to Moore, the way to the the title is simple.  “We need to stick to coach’s game plan and score early and often.”

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