There are never any guarantees on senior nights. Players want storybook endings, but that doesn’t always, or even usually, work out. But Monday’s Hillsboro soccer senior night couldn’t have gone any better. Hillsboro won, the team got a shutout, and the 11-7-1 Hawks got a quality win heading towards districts next week.
In the 2-0 victory over St. Pius, head coach Chris Schacht noted the squad rebounded successfully after last week’s loss to Perryville. “This was probably our best effort back to front and front to back all season,” he noted. “It wasn’t necessarily our best game, but coming off of a crushing loss last Thursday versus Perryville, it was good to see the girls get back on track, especially on senior night.”
Hillsboro got on the board a little over 18 minutes into the match when senior Abby Schacht scored off a helper from freshman Colleen Theiss. And then, Theiss found the back of the net in the second half, as senior Hannah Vaughn earned an assist. Sophomore Kenzie Baker got the clean sheet as she made three saves.
“We kept some possession in the offensive third and had some good combinations that set us up for some good goal scoring opportunities,” Coach Schacht pointed out. “We actually had a third goal get called back for offsides, but you take what you can get. The backline also played well, not giving up any good goal scoring opportunities. Their best opportunities came from a distance on free kicks, and Baker had enough time to make those saves.”
Several seniors were reflective on their time spent with the Hawks program. The team honored 13 players and four managers between the JV and varsity games.
Payton Kuehn: “A team is like a family. So to be one of the many seniors on this team is a true blessing. I’ve grown up with these girls, and they have all played a huge role in how I identify and carry myself as a young lady. This program is one of the best I’ve played for, and the coaching staff is absolutely amazing. I am so excited to continue on after high school and learn from the things this program has taught me.”
Abby Schacht: “Being a part of the Hillsboro soccer program has been a big part of my life. It started long before I entered high school. Being the coach’s kid, I have watched many senior nights in my life, and I never thought mine would come. It’s one of those happy-sad moments that I’m at the point where I’m saying goodbye to one of things that’s been a part of my life for almost 18 years. The Hillsboro soccer program will always have a special place in my heart because without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
Hanna Stinson: “My thoughts on senior night is that there’s no way it’s almost over. We need to enjoy every minute you are on that field (either practice, conditioning, or a game) because it will soon be over for 13 of us. Being a part of the program has meant a lot to me, and it was basically an outlet to get away from stress and school work. Soccer had played a big part in my high school career.”
Raechel Hamilton: “Being on the soccer team has been a great time for me. Senior night means a lot to me because I’ve played soccer since I was little and have always wanted to play in high school.”
Mollie Dulle: “Senior night was very bittersweet. The time I have spent with this team has impacted my life, and senior night signaled the beginning of the end for me. Despite this, I really tried to cherish the moment and my teammates. Because of soccer, I have a whole different family that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I also can not forget to mention my coaches. Coach Schacht and Coach Nansel are some of the best coaches I have played under. I know they really have our best interests in mind, and how they are able to deal with 23 teenage girls so well is a mystery to me. I’ve loved the time I’ve spent playing with this team because of the people it is made up of, and getting the win tonight was just the cherry on top.”
Lauren Pickett: “Senior night was everything I hoped for and more. I’ve been playing with the majority of these girls since fifth grade, so being able to take the field with them on our senior night made it that much more special. They’re an amazing group of young women that have become so much more than just my teammates. I’m so blessed to have spent my last few years in this program, and on the field with them. It’s been a ride I’ll never forget.”
Faith Wilson: “Senior night was so much fun. The team really came together and worked hard. Beating St. Pius was a solid team win, and I am so proud of my team. Being able to be on this team for four years has made me not only a better athlete, but a better person. I’m thankful for the amazing friends I’ve made and for the excellent coaches who put their time an effort into making me a better player and individual. Senior night was bittersweet, but I look forward to the post season with my team.”
“The girls came out inspired on senior night, and it was fun to watch them play a good game and get a quality win,” said Coach Schacht. “We honored 17 seniors before the game…13 players and four managers. So I just want to thank St. Pius for being patient and letting us get that all in since it took over 15 minutes.”
The Hawks have one more regular season game before districts begin. They’ll take on Maplewood-Richmond Heights at home on Wednesday.