Sacred Heart’s Victoria Minda had scored once all season entering Sunday’s CHSAA state AA girls soccer semifinal game.
She picked a good time to heat up.
Minda scored three goals for her first hat trick to lead Sacred Heart to a 7-0 win over Christ the King (7-1-6) at Aviator Field in Brooklyn.
Sacred Heart advanced to the state final for the first time in eight years.
“After I scored the first two goals, my teammates were yelling at me to score one more,” said Minda. “I felt like I needed to score it and it worked.”
The state championships will take place Nov. 11-12 in Buffalo. Sacred Heart (14-3) will play Nardin Academy (15-1-1), from Buffalo Diocese, at Niagara University.
“It’s amazing to continue this journey with all of my best friends,” said Minda.
“We worked really hard this season and it’s exciting. We deserved it,” sophomore Alexa Russell said.
Minda started things by scoring on a direct kick nine minutes into the first half. Her second goal came 12 minutes later.
Sophomore Caitlin Kennedy made it 3-0 later in the first half. Then Minda scored again two minutes later.
“I think we got lucky. The ball kept coming our way and we went for it each time,” said Kennedy.
Russell scored the final goal of the half with two minutes left.
“Coming off of a concussion, I worked really hard to get back in the game and it paid off,” said Russell.
Kennedy and Russell scored three minutes apart midway through the second half to provide the final margin.
Shannon Etts and Sara Micheli combined to record the shutout, the team’s 10th in 17 games.
The last time Sacred Heart was in the finals was in 2008, way before Minda, Russell and Kennedy were on the team. They’re feeling the pressure but they all agreed there’s one common goal, to bring home a title.
“We definitely want to perform and win for the school and bring the title back home,” said Minda.
“We want to represent the school and bring back a win,” Kennedy said.