Hilltoppers fall on Senior Night
The R-S Central Hilltoppers found themselves undermanned and overmatched on Tuesday falling to the Shelby Golden Lions 3-0.
The Hilltoppers recently found some rhythm on offense, but Tuesdays injury to starting forward Taylor Williamson derailed that momentum as they struggled to mount any pressure.
“We’re so thin,” Central head coach Scott Rumfelt said, “We had to jumble people around again today and when we have to do that we’ve just not been able to play well.”
Shelby took advantage of the Hilltoppers shuffling of players by applying pressure early and often. Rebecca Burton would score the first goal for Shelby at the 20:26 mark after receiving a long pass from midfielder Liana Stachowicz.
An illegal touching call against the Hilltoppers within the penalty area set up Shelby’s next score.
Chase Thompson sent the free kick high and right catching the net and extended the Shelby lead to 2-0.
“(David) Stevves is such a good coach at Shelby. He picked up our weakness right away and he exploited it and there really wasn’t much that we could do about it,” said Rumfelt.
The Hilltoppers defense anchored by Karsyn Kerns, Heather McCrary, and goalie Morgan Gilreath kept the contest close for most of the game.
Shelby’s third and final goal came from Lisa Nanney’s out of bounds kick that Chase Thompson controlled in front of the net and punched in to make the final score 3-0.
The Hilltoppers offensive challengewent from difficult to impossible after forward Emily McLaughlin ejection for arguing what she perceived was a bad call.
“Taylor is a big part of our offense and with her not being up top McLaughlin didn’t have room to run around. I am sure she was frustrated,” Rumfelt said. “We just didn’t have the pieces. If everybody is healthy for every game then we are probably in the playoffs. We just don’t have room for injuries.”
Thursday marked the final home game for seniors Morgan Gilreath, Julie Caldwell, Kayla Kerns, Simona Divonvetskiy, Morgan Helton, Chelsea Desgages, Heather McCrary and captain Leah King.
An emotional Rumfelt expressed his appreciation for them,
“I am especially proud of my seniors,” he said. “They never missed a practice, they were there every day and I couldn’t be prouder.”