It's usually a difficult task for freshmen to crack the varsity roster in any sport, and even harder to make an immediate impact.

But Shawnee Heights' freshmen girls soccer players apparently didn't get the memo.

MorganRobinsonSOCCER TH 14Freshman Morgan Robinson scored her seventh and eighth goals of the season in Monday's 3-2 Shawnee Heights soccer win over Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

SoleilMcNaughtonSOCCER TH 1Shawnee Heights freshman Soleil McNaughton (15) scored the T-Birds' final goal in a 3-2 win over Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

T-Bird freshmen Morgan Robinson and Soleil McNaughton combined for all three of Heights' first-half goals and freshman Nina Bolanos dished out a pair of assists in Monday's 3-2 non-league road win over Topeka High at Hummer Sports Park.

"We're a really young group and I thought we played really well the first half,'' Heights coach Kellen Griffin said. "The second half we got caught out a little bit but they stuck through it the whole game and we won a close game.

"We didn't win any close games last year so that's a step in the right direction already.'' 

Robinson scored a pair of goals against the Trojans to give her eight goals in three games for the 2-1 T-Birds while McNaughton scored Heights' third goal and Bolanos registered her two assists Monday after scoring three goals in an earlier 9-0 win over Ottawa.

Thus far all 12 Shawnee Heights goals on the year have come from freshmen.

"We don't have a lot of upperclassmen but the upperclassmen we have are really great leaders and then we've got a lot of underclassmen -- freshmen and sophomores -- that are just hungry to get playing time and hungry to get wins and they come to practice every day and they're ready to work,'' Griffin said.

Robinson's first goal gave Shawnee Heights a 1-0 lead over Topeka High (4-2) before the Trojans evened the score with a goal from sophomore Dana Chavarria Delacruz.

Robinson scored again to put the T-Birds up 2-1 before the game was delayed for 30 minutes at the 15:42 mark of the opening half due to weather concerns.

When the game resumed it took Shawnee Heights just 2:26 to push its advantage to 3-1 at the 13:16 mark on McNaughton's goal.

BryleeGarnerSOCCER SH 1Shawnee Heights freshman Brylee Garner (14) and Topeka High freshman Ysela Mesta battle for the ball in Monday's 3-2 T-Bird win over the Trojans. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

BayliBensonSOCCER TH 1Shawnee Heights junior Bayli Benson (6) and Topeka High sophomore Raelee Shipley (10) chase after a loose ball in Monday's 3-2 Heights win. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

The T-Birds were still in front 3-1 at the half before Topeka High sophomore Raelee Shipley scored with 27:08 remaining to get the Trojans within a goal.

Shipley's goal was the final goal of the night, but both teams mustered scoring opportunities, including a shot from Chavarria Delecruz which hit the crossbar.

"That was close,'' Topeka High coach Derek Snook said. "That was a hell of a play from their keeper (MacKenzie Mertel) and it was really close. We were getting shots off in the second half so that was a little bit better to see.

"In the second half we saw some real positives. We're a little short on numbers but the numbers we have out there, it's a get after it kind of group and we weren't doing that in the first half. The second half was much better.''


Shawnee Heights (2-1) 3 0 -- 3

Topeka High (4-2)         1 1 -- 2

Shawnee Heights -- Goals: Robinson 2, McNaughton. Assists: N. Bolanos 2.

Topeka High -- Goals: Chavarria Delacruz, Shipley.



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