Heritage Christian Wins Class 2A State Title
IHSAA Girls Soccer Class A Status Final: Heritage Christian 4, Andrean 0
The Eagles won their first women’s football state title in school history with an impressive performance Saturday at Carroll Stadium.
Brian Haenchen, Wochit
INDIANAPOLIS – Coach Jimmy Wiltsee has described them collectively as “the missing piece”, the scoring threat that Heritage Christian has sorely lacked.
First-year forwards Kya Crooke and Abby Foulk spent the first 22 games of their college careers confirming their coach’s assessment, then on Saturday afternoon, with the lights at their peak, the dynamic duo showed at rest of state exactly what he meant.
With three goals from Foulk and another from Crooke, the Eagles beat Andrean 4-0 in the IHSAA Class A Women’s Soccer Championship game.
âIt’s the best feeling in the world,â Foulk said. âI really wanted to do it for all the seniors, because I really love them and I really appreciate all the work they did. And I just wanted to prove myself to the team and show them what we had. . “
This is the first title for Heritage Christian, who outscored opponents 41-1 in the playoffs. Of those goals, more than half came from Crooke or Foulk.
âIt was such a great blessing to have them on the team,â said senior Brynna Moore. “They are also such great friends to have and have been such a great asset to us.”
The duo’s dazzling performance was nothing new to those who have followed HC this season. The two quickly established themselves as some of the state’s most prolific scorers, standing out for their speed, ball handling and finishing abilities.
This was all on display in Saturday’s final.
After Crooke provided the scoring for the semi-state, Foulk took his turn in the championship, placing Heritage Christian on the board midway through the first half.
The first-year forward took a pass from Koryn Marshall and danced around a defender in midfield before firing a shot from the top of the box to the top corner of the net.
Foulk fouled and converted the ensuing penalty within two minutes of the start of the second half, then scored the hat trick – and passed Crooke as the team’s top scorer – 16 minutes later, deftly avoiding a defender in the box before burying his shot (Moore had the assist).
âThe craziest thing is, she’s been amazing all year,â Wiltsee said. âAbby clicked. She was locked up today.
It was an impressive offensive display from Heritage Christian who, after a brief period of reflection, found his game and began to aggressively challenge every ball, which knocked the 59ers back on their heels.
âAll year round we want teams to change our attack,â Wiltsee said, adding that their attack starts with their outside full backs, a unique wrinkle for a Class A team. âAt first we struggled to adapt because they made changes we weren’t expecting and did some things, but overall I think our speed is what won the game today. ”
Crooke could have easily matched (or maybe even passed) her teammate’s score, but she couldn’t take a break.
She was refused several times in the first half (two breakaways were saved, another shot crossed the bar, two goals were canceled by offside) then missed a few more chances in the second.
It was a little frustrating, Crooke admitted – “You can’t get too far into your head because we know when we work together it’s going to happen,” she said – but she stayed the course and was rewarded for her perseverance, breaking through with the team’s fourth goal with 21:44 remaining.
Fittingly, Crooke’s tally came less than two minutes after Foulk passed her as the team’s top scorer.
“They’re amazing. They’re amazing together,” said Wiltsee, of the freshmen who both finished with 35 goals. “They helped make our team so much better, but they learned from our seniors. They knew how to score and how to play football, but they learned to be a team, to work together, and they just took off.”
For as prolific and dedicated as the freshmen were and are, it is the seniors who have been the heart and soul of the Heritage Christian Eagles 2021.
They made the sacrifices necessary for the team to succeed, Wiltsee said, and kept everyone together through a hard-to-predict regular season (the schedule included Bishop Chatard, Brebeuf, Plainfield, Park Tudor and Cathedral).
âThis senior year class – I’m speechless,â Wiltsee said. âThis senior class has taught this team how you should prepare, how you should work and what the mindset should be. Our juniors, sophomores and freshmen are all ready to go their way and to continue the same message. I’ll tell you right now, the goal is to come back here next year. ”
>> Caroline Curnutt of Heritage Christian was named this year’s recipient of the Theresia Wynns Mental Attitude Award.
Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen.