Hillsborough improves to 18-0, but sets its sights on more important things.
By MIKE READLING
Published January 30, 2004
TAMPA - Now it's time for Hillsborough to play some games that matter. And the Terriers can't wait.
An 18-0 record is fine and dandy. Giving up six goals while recording 12 shutouts? That's great.
Thursday night's 5-0 win over rival Plant in the Class 5A, District 8 championship game was the final touch on what has been a dream season.
Feb.5, however, is when Hillsborough's season really starts to matter.
"We still have a ton to prove," senior Jessie Anzevino said. "What we've done is nothing right now. We've only played people in our district. We have no idea what's out there in regions."
For one night that didn't matter. What did was the Panthers and how Hillsborough was going to keep its record perfect.
First on that list was for the Terriers to score early and keep using their dominant speed at forward and midfield to maintain possession of the ball in Plant's half of the field.
Laura Scaglione took care of the first part in the ninth minute.
That's when she dribbled into the box and ripped a shot. Plant keeper Riley Dickey made a great sliding save only to have the ball bounce off of her face and see Scaglione fight through the collision to tap it into the empty net.
Natalie Burgess added another goal before the half and then Sara Belsole and Shawna Matthys got into the scorebook before Scaglione finished with another empty netter.
"This feels amazing," Anzevino said. "When we were freshmen it was a completely different attitude. I think progressively we've learned so much, we've gained so much experience. I really think we can take it all the way to state."
If that is to happen the Terriers are going to have to continue playing the type of defense they've shown in the past two district games.
Hillsborough held the Panthers (8-7-1) in check. In fact most of Plant's second-half scoring chances came after Hillsborough coach Ron Fedeles subbed in his second team.
"Everything is just falling into place," Fedeles said of the Terriers record-setting year. "This whole year has been unbelievable."
Hillsborough will host the runner-up of tonight's Gaither-Sickles matchup in the Class 5A, District 7 final.