MOUNT VERNON -- Mount Carmel junior Britton Heinrich hat tricked for the second consecutive game, this time leading his Aces to a 7-nil rout of Mount Vernon (Ind.) on Monday in Mount Vernon.
Just last year Mount Vernon bested the Aces 3-2 on the Aces' home turf -- but with as much as the Aces have improved, the outcome would be vastly different against their former Big Eight Conference foe.
Both teams remained locked in a scoreless battle for the first 19 minutes of the ballgame, battling the unusually scorching September heat, but that tie was broken in the 20th minute when Heinrich broke the game open with a strike on an assist from senior Checco Terna, putting the Aces (8-0) ahead 1-nil.
Heinrich would strike again just nine minutes later, this time on an assist by senior Iacopo Clementi. The Aces would conclude the half on a goal off the foot of junior Beau Stipp, off a feed by Terna again, putting the Aces ahead 3-nil entering the break.
Unlike their slow start to the first half, the Aces came out of the gate of the second firing on all cylinders.
Junior Rayce Loudermilk began the flurry of goals with his goal in the 44th minute on a feed by junior Ethan Belt, followed by Heinrich's third goal of the night just minutes later, completing the hat trick, and Clementi striking for a goal just a couple minutes later on another assist by Belt.
The scoring would conclude for the Aces in the 67th minute when Terna scored his first goal of the night, setting the score at 7-nil.
The Aces dominated the tempo of the game with their attack and ball movement once again, spraying 33 shots at the Wildcats goalie, 23 of them on frame and creating an astounding 20 additional scoring chances in their relentless attack. They took four corners and were disruptive defensively, forcing 12 interceptions and limiting Mount Vernon (1-6) to just five shots and two corners.
Despite the performance, Berberich said he'd like to see more consistency from his defenders, especially at the midfield area and up top. With their attacking talent they're bound to score, making their defensive ability key to their success.
"We still need to work on our defensive pressure in the midfield area and up top, as we were a little inconsistent in our effort there," Berberich spoke of the Aces' defensive pressure. "The back four did a good job of jumping on the Rams passes, particularly Adam Stoneberger and Jack Deisher at the two centerback spots, and Belt had some interceptions higher up in the midfield area as well. If we're consistently doing that as a whole team, we've got the ability to really control all areas of the field against a lot of teams. We've got the attacking talent needed to score goals but it all starts with our defensive pressure, and that needs to come from everyone working together, everywhere on the field."
Though the heat certainly factored in, he'd also like to see the intensity ramped up out of the gate. He felt they were sloppy at times in the game.
"I think the heat bothered us a bit tonight, as we were a little flat and not as sharp with the ball as we have been throughout this season, but we were still able to get past that and put up some shots," Berberich said. "We were maybe rushing things a little bit when we had the ball, forcing passes that weren't there rather than moving it around the field as well as we have been this season."
With the victory Mount Carmel improves to 8-0 on the season, remaining unblemished as they enter the tougher half of their schedule.
They'll continue play on Thursday when they travel to face the Mount Vernon (Ill.) Rams (1-4) at 5 p.m. They'll follow that with a couple road matches against former Big Eight foes, Vincennes Rivet on Saturday at 10 a.m., Washington on Monday at 5 p.m., prior to returning home on Monday, Sept. 23 for a match against North Posey at 5 p.m.