PENDLETON–The offense seems to come in bursts at times, but the one constant for the Pendleton heights girls’ soccer team is the defense.
And it can be smothering.
Helena Talbot recorded her first hat trick in two years and the Arabian defense pitched its second shutout in as many days as Pendleton Heights blanked Yorktown 7-0 Tuesday night.
It was also the fourth shutout of the season for Pendleton Heights (9-2). The combination of goalkeeper Shayla Meinders and strong back line play of Megan Green, Marleau McGinnis, and Leonie Wilson has allowed just twelve goals in 11 games this season.
“I think just continuity of having games together and playing together has been key,” coach Mark Davy said. “But, the past couple games, we’ve had some other girls step in there, Marleau stepped up today. To be able to have that kind of depth is good.”
Offensively, the Arabians twice scored three goals in rapid succession, once in the first half to take control, and once in the second half to put the game away. And Talbot was the leader of the quick-strike Arabians on this night.
The junior scored the third goal of the first half, following scores from junior Claire Fendel and senior Kate Cowger as the Arabians scored three times within six minutes for a 3-0 lead at intermission.
The second half outburst was an absolute blur.
Talbot assisted on a goal to sophomore Anna Childers at the 33:47 mark of the second half for a 4-0 lead. A mere 42 seconds later, freshman Sarah Dix scored after a previous shot ricocheted off the Yorktown (4-4-1) goalie. Talbot then scored her second goal of the night just 1:23 later to give the Arabians a 6-0 lead.
The junior midfielder then capped her night with 15 seconds left on the clock with her third goal of the night for the final margin. Talbot said it was important to get another big conference win and that the defense is the key to this team’s success.
“I was hoping for it tonight,” Talbot said. “I trust the defense a lot. I know they can get it up (to me) and get the job done. I had a couple (hat tricks) my freshman year, but none since then.”
Junior Taylor Fort had two assists for the Arabians while Cowger, Childers, and Fendel each added one.
The Arabians improve to 4-0 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. But with big games in the coming weeks at New Castle and at home against New Palestine and Mt. Vernon, Davy knows this team will have to stay focused.
“I thought today, we played well,” Davy said. “Looking forward to New Castle, they’ve had some good teams that have had our number. We have to come focused and show them that we are capable of winning it.”
The Arabians will visit the Trojans Thursday, September 14 for a 7 p.m. start.