Hedden scored four goals for the cause, the most athletic of which was probably her header off a throw-in just outside the goal from Katelynn Harbeke that paralyzed LFO’s defenders and goalie with its crispness and quickness.
Cass had lead 2-0 at the break and added three more goals in the second half despite a decided emphasis on defensive play to protect its lead.
“We needed a good win like this,” head coach Phil Phillips said, although he conceded the Lady Colonels did not appear in top condition after a week off the soccer field due to spring break.
Cass, which plays its soccer in powerful Region 7-AAAA and had compiled a 5-7 overall record and a 1-6 region mark, took a break from its region foes with Tuesday’s matchup against LFO, which plays in AAA.
Phillips said Hedden made a lot of good plays during her scoring rampage against LFO (5-3) and put the game out of reach quickly.
But he was just as quick to praise the defensive play of Rachel Jackson, the team’s goalie.
Jackson stopped three hard shots in which she had to stretch out to the max to prevent LFO from finding net and clawing its way back into the contest. Jackson also tipped several shots enough to send them over or to one side of the net as she offered a defensive clinic on protecting her domain.
“Rachel’s a freshman and she’s just awesome,” Phillips said. “This was her third shutout of the season.” He added Jackson has combined for a shutout as well.
Cass started the night clicking offensively when Katelynn Harbeke used a throw-in to get the ball to Hedden, who in turn fed the ball to Brieanna Heaton for a goal in the game’s second minute. Heaton had taken the feed and angled through two defenders to fire her goal to the right of the goalie to claim the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Colonels kept up the offensive pressure throughout the half but did not add to their total until Hedden scored in the 38th minute off an assist from Harbeke.
The next score came just two minutes after the break when Hedden used a second assist from Harbeke to treat the Lady Colonels to a 3-0 lead.
Hedden’s last two scores came in the 67th — with an assist from Harbeke — and in the game’s 75th minutes when Hedden dribbled down the right side and fired past the goalie.
Phillips said despite the five-goal margin by Hedden, Cass looked like a team coming back from spring break. “We just came out of spring break a little sluggish,” he said. “We need to play with a little more energy.”
He will take the victory, though. “We just have to play better the next few games.”
Cass plays South Forsyth on Friday. Game time is at 6 p.m. Next week the Lady Colonels play Dalton on Tuesday, Forsyth Central on Wednesday and Cedartown on Friday.
Tuesday’s win ended a three-game slide by the Lady Colonels, who had lost six out of their last seven games, all in the region.