Spring break lasted an extra day for Cass Tuesday as the Lady Colonels took some of their soccer frustrations out on Lakewood-Ft. Oglethorpe through a 5-0 romp that was highlighted by a career-type game by Mallory Hedden.
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.
Woodland 2, North Cobb 2
Woodland stepped up a notch in classifications and fought North Cobb High to a 2-2 tie in high school soccer play Tuesday night.
During the contest, the Lady Wildcats surged to two leads -- 1-0 and 2-1 -- against North Cobb, but the Lady Warriors answered the challenge twice, coming from behind to knot the score in the game's final two minutes.
"It was disappointing we were not able to finish the game as we had hoped," head coach Kyle Morgan said. "But we had a good experience and hopefully this game will benefit us when we return to our region play Friday against a really good Lambert team."
The Lady Wildcats clawed their way into the scoring in the game's 50th minute when Stephanie Hicks drew an assist from Johannah Nunez to light up the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead. The Lady Warriors answered in the 51st minute for a 1-1 score.
Woodland again tested their opponents in the 61st minute when Hicks scored Woodland's second goal of the evening with an assist by Polly Miller.
The two teams battled the rest of the way but the Lady Warriors staved off a loss with about two minutes remaining when they found the back of the net.
Coach Morgan said although Woodland didn't get the victory it wanted, coaches saw some strong desire.
"Overall I was pleased with the effort," he said. "We played extra hard against a really good team. Unfortunately, we weren't able to hold that lead for two more minutes.
Alicia Velasquez showed a lot of determination on a challenging evening.
"She had 16 saves for us," Morgan added.
He said Emily Moore and Rachel Dodson "did a really good job in the back line for us, but it was a total team effort.
"We now have four games remaining in our regular season and hopefully this game will carry over as we play another quality opponent."
Woodland, who turns road warrior, next plays Friday against Lambert, at 6 p.m., then plays North Paulding and South Forsyth before ending with Marietta.
All four are quality opponents and the matchups will be on the road.
Coach Morgan noted several Lady Wildcats played their final home games for their school -- Hicks and Nunez.
"I was glad they were able to close out their games on their home field with victories," the coach said. "They have meant a lot to our program the past four years and it was good to see them have more success today."
The Lady Wildcats are 6-7-1 with the tie.
North Cobb is 7-8-1 on the season.