It’s been a tough week for the Hamilton girls soccer team.
On Tuesday, the Chargers lost for just the second time this season to a strong Brookfield Central team. Then on Thursday, they squeaked past conference rival Menomonee Falls thanks to an impressive 20-save performance from sophomore keeper Meghan Anthony and a goal in the game’s waning minutes by senior Jen Jobke.
Conventional wisdom says Hamilton would show some signs of fatigue after such a rough week when they took the field just 24 hours after their hard-fought win over the Indians.
The Chargers came out guns a blazing when they hosted non-conference foe Whitnall Friday night in a rather lopsided 4-1 win.
“We had a tough week,” Hamilton head coach Tom Konkol said. “But when you have the ball, it makes it awful hard for everybody else.”
Hamilton possessed the ball for what seemed the entirety of the first half, and created countless chances with that possession.
Just over five minutes into the game, they already found the back of the net as sophomore Holly Heckendorf took a centering pass from senior Kaitlin Traverse in the middle of the penalty area, turned her defender and rifled the ball into the lower left corner of the goal.
That was just the beginning for Heckendorf who assisted on goals in the 28th and 30th minutes to teammates Hannah Menzia and Kirsten Anderson, respectively.
Konkol compared his talented sophomore to that of a dual-threat point guard in basketball. Rather than have someone who only can possess the ball and find open teammates or the opposite in someone who looks to score for themselves all the time, Heckendorf combines both meticulously.
“She’s a play-maker,” Konkol said. “She can score and she has the ability to differentiate ‘When should I try to score, when should I knock it off to somebody who can score?’ Not a lot can do that.
“She can differentiate. She can go left or right. She can shoot left or right. It’s nice to be versatile that way.”
Already up 3-0 at the break, the Chargers ended any thoughts of a comeback just after intermission when Jobke took a leading pass from Traverse behind the entire Flacons defense and calmly slotted the ball in the lower right corner past a helpless keeper just three minutes into the second half.
Whitnall finally started to put the pieces together midway through the second half, peppering Hamilton goalie Tristen Hayes in a variety of ways. But the sophomore was only bested by a perfectly placed ball off the foot of Whitnall senior Dana Steffen, one of the area’s top goal-scorers, in the 65th minute.
The win improves the Chargers to 8-2-1 overall as they head into a conference matchup with Divine Savior Holy Angels on Tuesday.