The NJCAA No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s soccer team will receive its first major test of 2012 when 19th-ranked Johnson County comes to the USD 308 Complex at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
The game between the two Jayhawk Conference rivals was originally set for 3 p.m., but had to be pushed to 5:15 p.m. to accommodate a middle school tournament at the complex.
Since Hutchinson entered the Jayhawk Conference with women’s soccer in 2005, the Lady Dragons and Cavaliers have played some of the most important matches in league and regional history. Hutchinson and Johnson County have met in Region VI games in six of the past seven years.
Johnson County is the only Jayhawk Conference team to have a winning record over HCC. The Lady Dragons are 5-7-1 vs. the Cavaliers, but HCC had won three straight in the series, winning 4-0 at Johnson County last season and a memorable 3-2 triumph in the Region VI semifinals last season in Topeka.
On Wednesday, the Lady Dragons reached No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer poll for the first time ever. Hutchinson comes into Saturday’s showdown 6-0 and 5-0 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Lady Dragons have posted six-straight shutouts and have outscored their first six opponents 52-0.
HCC brings in a dynamic scoring duo in freshman Danielle Sheehy and sophomore Melissa Hetherington.
In just six games played, Sheehy in already firmly entrenched in the Lady Dragon single-season record books and is about to already make it into the career Top 10 in several categories. Sheehy has five hat tricks and has totaled 19 goals, 13 assists and 51 points.
Hetherington, the team’s career leader in points and goals and who is No. 2 in career assists, has 14 goals and 14 assists for 41 points to start the season.
A key third person for HCC is forward Stephany Cushing, who had six goals and 13 points. Cushing could be key as injuries have put Sammy Lane’s bench a bit short because of injuries.
Both sophomore goalkeepers Eunice Figueroa and Emily Soza have hardly been tested, but in Wednesday’s 5-0 victory over Pratt, both HCC keepers had a season-high two saves. Figueroa (4-0) has made five saves this season, while Soza (2-0) has four saves.
Johnson County, ranked as high as No. 10 so far this season, is 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the league. Hutchinson, Johnson County, No. 6 Butler and Barton all remain undefeated in league play. The Cavaliers’ two losses have come to Iowa Lakes (2-1) and Illinois Central 1-0. The Cavaliers have defeated Southwestern Illinois 2-1 and Cowley 5-1 in their last two games.
Johnson County has outscored its seven opponents 20-6.
The Cavaliers have been balanced scoring with 11 points scoring at least one goal. Haley O’Brien has a team-high four goals. Jennifer Howell has three, while Christianna Tran and Kelsey Wakefield has two each. Wakefield has a team-high four assists.
Goalkeeper Janay Stone has a 4-1 record with a 0.82 goals-against average and an .871 save percentage.
(HCC Sports Information)