The Heritage girls' soccer season came to an end Saturday.
But it took the best opponent the Lady Patriots have seen this season to eliminate them from the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
McIntosh, the defending Class AAAA champions, led the entire way in the Chiefs 7-1 victory on Saturday, in a match that wasn't as dominant as the scoreboard indicated.
Heritage (16-4-1) started the match with possession on the Cheifs (18-2-1) side of the field putting the first four shots on goal. None of those shots, however, found their way to the back of the net, giving McIntosh opportunities of its own.
The state's No. 2 ranked team capitalized on those chances thanks to its potent offense led by one of the state's best players.
Gabriel Seiler assisted on two goals before scoring two of her own, the final on a near unstoppable header on the far post off a corner kick in the second half.
"Gabby Seiler is the best I've seen," Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said. "We didn't have an answer for her, she is dynamic, absolutely."
Seiler sparked the Cheifs early using her quickness and strong ball-controlling ability to penetrate the Lady Patriots' penalty box and create for her teammates.
Her play indirectly led to McIntosh's first goal, tallied by Amanda Bartholomew. The sophomore got past Heritage's defenders before putting a ball past goalkeeper Maddy Carter. Seiler then made a crossing pass for her first assist to Jackie Gray, who put the second shot past Carter.
Seiler, the junior University of Georgia commit, picked up her second assist of the day, getting the ball to Cecily Hartman for a 3-0 lead with 4:02 to play in the first half.
"I told the girls this is the best team we're going to see all year," Suddeth said. "It was going to take our best performance if we were to have a chance, and If it wasn't
our best performance it was one of our best performances."
Though that statement may be hard to see in the final score, the opening minutes of each half seemed to prove truth of Suddeth's statement.
Less than four minutes into the first half, Heritage, which was outshot 10-5 in the first half, got on the scoreboard. The Lady Patriots' senior captain Arielle Gunderson broke through into the penalty box, and after receiving a pass from fellow senior Kourtney Kelley, got Heritage on the scoreboard.
Gunderson, the University of Florida signee, who finished her high school career with19 goals and seven assists, headlines a senior class that been one of the best Heritage has seen.
"She's different than any other teenager than I've ever been around," Suddeth said. "She's phenomenal. She's the total package with athletics academics, sense of humor and maturity."
The 2012 class has shown excellence with athletics, academics and maturity all around, helping the Lady Patriots reach the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2001 and tie for the most wins in school history.
Fellow senior Courtney Hodges led the team with 22 goals and five assists and Kelley, also graduating in 2012 was third with eight goals and two assists. Lena
Killingsworth, Laura Zawadzki and Cate Reach will all be leaving the team after this season.
"It's the best senior class I've ever been around," Suddeth said. "They've had a lot of blood sweat and tears. We've had a lot of ups and downs on the soccer field.
Those girls have done everything we've asked of them.
"They're a very special group of young ladies. They're going to be hard to replace."
They proved their toughness in the second half after McIntosh answered Gunderson's goal in a little less than five minutes later on Jackie Roshelli's shot.
Seiler then scored her header before beating Carter to put the Chiefs up 6-1. An underclassmen scored McIntosh's final goal as the Chiefs worked in all of its bench.
Carter came up with 10 saves for the Lady Patriots, but McIntosh proved to be too much.
"They're a good team," Suddeth said. "If there's a better team out there I want to see them.
"It's the best season (we've had) in Heritage history in the last 10, 11 years. I'm very proud of them making it this far."