Hannibal came up on the wrong end of the score Tuesday night during a 6-0 loss to Helias at Porter Stadium.
Like all good coaches, Hannibal girls soccer coach Eric Hill believes his team has what it takes to be elite. But first Hill knows his team must come away with a signature win.
After falling to powers Quincy High School, Quincy Notre Dame and conference foe Boonville, the Lady Pirates had another crack at defeating a top-notch program Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately Hannibal (6-4) once again came up on the wrong end of the score, falling to the Lady Crusaders 6-0 at Porter Stadium.
“Another really good team we played tonight, but we have to come out and start competing with these teams if we ever want to go anywhere,” Hill said.
Maya Heckart broke a scoreless tie by finding the back of the net with just over nine minutes left to play in the first half. The goal came on a rebound after a shot caromed off the crossbar and straight to the Helias midfielder.
Heckart added a goal seven minutes later for a 2-0 lead — the same score as the two teams entered the half.
Although the game was still within reach for Hannibal, the Lady Crusaders dominated most of the first half action.
Helias fired eight shots on goal, while the host Lady Pirates could only muster a pair of goals on net.
“We just could not connect with anything offensively,” the Lady Pirates coach said. “And we spent too much time chasing the ball. But a lot of that has to do with who we were playing. They did a nice job of pressuring the middle.”
It didn’t take the visitors long to extend their lead in the second half. Reese Hamilton caught Hannibal out of position just over a minute into the second half for a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Crusaders continued their attack as they fired the next 11 shots on goal — three of which found the back of the net — before Kaylee Falconer’s second shot on goal late in the half.
Helias took advantage of one of the Lady Pirates main defenders missing the match. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Janes had to miss the game due to an injured knee.
Hill mentioned her absence was a big blow to the Lady Pirates defense.
“We found out just how much we miss Maddie Janes,” the Hannibal coach said. “She does a great job of helping control the middle and tonight it seemed like we just were not able to get anything going through our midfield. But give Helias credit.”
For the game, Helias outshot the Lady Pirates 19-3.
Falconer registered two of the three shots on goal in the loss.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight,” Hill noted.
Hannibal returns to the pitch this weekend when they host the Hannibal Tournament on Friday and Saturday.