TAMPA — It's awful hard to win a soccer match when you don't get a shot. And that's just what happened to Hillsborough in the finals of the Class 5A, District 9 match against Freedom at Leto on Friday.
Freedom dominated possession — and the game — knocking off Hillsborough 5-0.
"We thought we had the ability to shut them down defensively," Freedom coach Chris Hinkle said. "We just had to do it."
There was only a handful of times that Hillsborough got the ball past midfield. And when the Terriers did, Freedom was able to steal the ball or block any potential shots.
Despite the possession disparity, Freedom was only up 1-0 at halftime, with a goal in the fifth minute of the game on a putback by Jenna Stiling.
Freedom was shooting a lot of high shots against Hillsborough's lanky keeper, Amber Davis, and she was saving them.
"We talked about that even before the game but again at halftime," Hinkle said.
In the second half, the Patriots got the idea with a slew of low shots that Davis couldn't get to. In the 46th minute a low strike by Ashni Deschenes gave the Patriots a 2-0 lead and Stiling all but put the game away with another low shot to make the score 3-0.
"We had to start converting," Hinkle said. "Making it in the playoffs made it a lot easier. We were able to relax and play."
Delaina Archer and Olivia Bloemke added two goals to round out scoring.
The Freedom win also erases a tough loss earlier in the season to Hillsborough when the Patriots again controlled the game but lost 1-0.