• Val T.

Taking ‘My Shot:’ Hamilton sisters each notch hat trick as Culver spoils Valley girls soccer opener

Villegas adds 4 goals for Lady Cavs; Brito scores Valley’s first goal on PK


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

CULVER –- Giselle Villegas scored four goals, and Kaylee Hamilton and Maddie Hamilton scored three goals each for the Culver girls soccer team in a 13-1 win over visiting Tippecanoe Valley on Aug. 16.

Olivia Compton, Kassidy Banks and Maisy McCuen each added a goal for Culver.

Villegas had two assists, and Compton, Banks and Eriahna Vela had one assist each.

Culver improved to 1-0.

Valley dropped their first game in school history. Jessica Brito became the answer to a trivia question when she scored Valley’s first goal on a penalty kick in the 34th minute.

But Culver was up 11-1 at halftime, and Villegas and Kaylee Hamilton each added a goal within the first seven minutes of the second half.

This game met the criteria for the new IHSAA soccer mercy rule:

  • a running clock once Culver assumed a five-goal lead;

  • the game ends once a team goes ahead by nine goals;

  • the game lasts a minimum of 60 minutes.

Valley coach Mark Gordon, who was also the first coach in Valley boys soccer history in 2014, said six of his players had played some sort of organized soccer before. Many of them played with boys. A scrimmage scheduled for four days earlier against Maconaquah was canceled, which meant that the already inexperienced players were even more raw.

“We had 16 girls over here today, 13 of them were eligible, and 13 of them played,” Valley coach Mark Gordon said. “We held Culver scoreless for the first 13 or 14 minutes of the game, and then we had some easy mistakes that were happening. The goalkeeper perhaps did not come out when she should have, our defense not understanding crosses, things like that. And then they got a little bit high.”

Culver coach A.J. Neace agreed that the Lady Cavs got off to a slow start.

“We botched a couple of wide-open ones early there, and then we started settling in there,” Neace said. “First-game jitters kind of hit us pretty good. I had to yell at a couple girls to get focused and under control, and then we started really working the ball well.”

Culver listed 21 girls on their roster. Neace, in his second season, said it is a larger roster than last year, and he praised his players for talking up the program and getting more girls to come out.

“She is kind of our middle girl,” Neace said of Villegas. “She does a little bit of everything. If I ask her to score, she’ll score. If I ask her to go play in the goal, she’ll play in the goal. She’s a great girl to have on this team and a great leader as a captain only as a sophomore.”

Neace had a similar compliment for Kaylee Hamilton.

“She’ll run through a brick wall if I ask her to,” Neace said. “Those two (Villegas and Kaylee Hamilton) will take us as far as we’ll go.”

Gordon praised Neace and the Lady Cavaliers. He said “everything’s fair” about the way Culver played afterwards.

“I think they did,” Gordon said when asked if his players had fun. “I think they understand we have a lot of work to do. We have a long season. We have a full gamut with two tournaments, and we have to get to play some JV teams. And I’m just hoping that perhaps maybe another team that’s closer to our level, they’ll have a little bit better outing, a little bit better showing.”


Jessica Brito scored the first goal in Valley girls soccer history in a 13-1 loss to Culver on Aug. 16.


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