Marauders rout Arabians for outright HHC title


Sep. 28—PENDLETON — The Mount Vernon Marauders used a stout defensive effort and a sudden momentum shift Monday to blank Pendleton Heights 5-0 and claim an outright girls soccer Hoosier Heritage Conference championship.

The Marauders improved to 9-3-1 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play while the Arabians fell to 8-5-1 with their third straight defeat and finished 5-2 in the HHC.

“They’re dangerous from deep, and they’re dangerous in the air,” PH coach Mark Davy said of the state’s 19th-ranked Marauders. “I told (our players) we have to be better and more confident in the air. We were marked up fine. We just have to go up and challenge them.”

PH was able to keep the game scoreless through the first 40 minutes thanks largely to the efforts of senior keeper Kieli Ryan. The first-year soccer player recorded five saves in the first half compared to just two scoring opportunities for the Arabians.

“That’s five big saves,” Davy said. “I told the team at halftime that, when your keeper makes a save like that, it’s got to give you the extra energy and adrenaline rush to go out and do whatever is necessary. She was doing her job back there.”

Ryan made two more saves early in the second half before Mount Vernon finally broke through. Off a corner kick and the ensuing scramble, Shay Shipley scored on a header at the 31:08 mark to break the ice on the scoreless contest.

For the next 14 minutes, the defenses held the game right there. Another Ryan save and the PH back line cleared away a pair of Mount Vernon corner chances before the Arabians got their best scoring opportunity.

At the 17:30 mark, Charlie Cannady made a bid for her fifth goal of the season for PH, but keeper Riley Britt made the save and the Marauders immediately went on the attack in transition.

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Working the ball methodically up the field, it was Shipley who took the shot from 30 yards out, and the ball found the net just under the crossbar to double the Mount Vernon lead at the 16:59 mark.

It was a deflating moment for the Arabians, seeking their first conference title since 2017.

“You get one down. You’re confident enough you can tie it, especially in a conference game. You don’t have to have the lead necessarily, but you’ve just got to get one (goal),” Davy said. “As soon as you get that second one, it’s tough to rebound from.”

The scores were the eighth and ninth of the season for Shipley, Mount Vernon’s leading scorer.

PH had its chances in the final 15 minutes. A Kaitlyn Prickett free kick was just over the crossbar, and Cannady had three more shots on goal — two were saved by Britt and one was wide of the mark.

The Marauders added on with a Hannah Monroe goal off a corner at the 12:37 mark and a Mattie Isger breakaway score with 9:40 left.

The final score came on an own goal that rolled off the back of PH defender Ellie Manchess.

The Arabians will wrap up their regular season with a trip to Hamilton Heights on Wednesday before opening sectional play at Hamilton Southeastern on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Muncie Central. Davy hopes his team can end the current losing skid and regain some momentum heading into the tournament.

“Hamilton Heights is a tough opponent, so we can’t go in overconfident or overlooking them for sectional,” he said. “I told them there at the end, we’ve got to regroup as a team. Together we can do it, but it’s not something we can overlook.”

Contact Rob Hunt at rob.hunt@heraldbulletin.com or 765-640-4886.



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