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Heritage girls cruise past Tucker in opening round
Heritage's Sarah Jo Greer shields the ball away from a defender in the Lady Patriots' 6-1 win over Tucker in the opening round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. - photo by Darrell Everidge

Heritage girls' soccer took care of business Wednesday in the opening round of the Class AAAAA playoffs with a 6-1 victory over Tucker.

The 8-AAAAA region champion-Lady Patriots started a bit slow, waiting until the 28th minute to score their second goal, but took off after that and never were threatened.

"We certainly didn't play our best," Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said. "A win is a win in the state playoffs. But I really hoped we would have come out and didn't put away more opportunities and really put it to them."

Paige Shelton scored the opening goal in the 16th minute before Kaley Wells scored to make it 2-0 with 12:37 left in the half. The Lady Patriots weren't done. Just a minute later, at the 11:34 mark, Ally Silvey beat the keeper on a quick hitter to give Heritage a commanding 3-0 lead at the break.

The Lady Patriots missed on a few good looks that could have made it an even larger lead though. One particular play came right before the half when Silvey missed just high on a header off a beautiful cross from Wells.

"That's a little thing Ally and Kaley have. They get a little eye contact and Kaley puts it high out there and Ally is one of the few girls that attack the ball in the air," Suddeth said. "We take pride in our corner kicks. We work on them a lot."

The second half went much the same way. Shelton scored early to make it 4-1 before Ray Brown cleaned up a rebound around in the box for Heritage's fifth goal. Sarah Bogus was taken down inside the penalty box and Brown stepped up and hit the penalty kick.

"I just let the girls figure it out," Suddeth said about Brown's goal. "She has a lot of confidence. She stepped right into the box to the spot to take it and scored it."

Tucker scored a late goal to make it 6-1. The Lady Patriots are home next Wednesday to face fifth-ranked North Paulding.

"We'll have to play better or we could be out of the playoffs next week," Suddeth said. "We have to convert more looks. We are getting plenty of good looks. I just want to see us make more. But we're moving on and I'll take it."