from staff reports
The Meridian Star
Trailing 3-2 during the first round of penalty kicks Tuesday, there was a lot of tension and emotions going through the West Lauderdale girls soccer team.
However, the Knights knotted up Greene County there and then won in golden goal penalty kicks (6-5) to win the Class 4A South State championship and advance to Saturday’s state championship game.
“We went down in the first series and it was shaky there for a minute,” West coach Alex George said. “I wasn’t too sure and I don’t think any of us were and how it would turn out.
“But we finished it off.”
To get there, the Knights first had to find a way to slow Greene County’s Darby Nettles, a William Carey commitment. That responsibility fell on Megan Stewart.
“We had to contain her and we did,” George said. “We threw one of our best defenders on her and man-marked her. There were times when she got loose, but we depended on the rest of our defense to clean it up and they did.
“Our keeper had some really big saves. It was just really good defense tonight.”
With the defense doing its job, the Knights found a way in penalty kicks to win it and advance to their first state championship since 2004. West will face Florence at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Clinton High School.
“It’s huge and I’m still trying to process it right now,” George added. “It’s a good moment and I’m just really proud of the girls. They sold tonight to punch their ticket and did what they had to do.”