After having to overcome a slow start in Tuesday’s first-round win against St. Stanislaus, the West Lauderdale boys soccer team made certain no comeback was needed Saturday.
Instead the Knights scored twice in the first 12 minutes and blanked host Laurel 3-0 to advance to Tuesday’s Class 4A South State championship. There, West will host rival Newton County at 7 p.m.
“That’s what we pretty muched talked about today is that we felt like if we could get one or two in quick, that it would break their spirit,” West coach Bryan Miley said. “We did and we really controlled play the rest of the way.”
In downing the Golden Tornadoes, West got a goal from Tyler Green and two from Tyler Germany, while Quinton Smith, Lyle Daughtery and Chris Mallette all had assists.
“Our keeper had a really good game,” Miley added about Cody Anderson, who had 13 saves. “They got some shots on goal, but they never really threatened us. We really controlled play the whole way through.”
— Jamie Wachter
Newton County 2
Lawrence County 0
The Cougars, who finished the Division 5-4A runners-up to West, continued its playoff run by shutting out Lawrence County at home in the second round Saturday.
Newton County will travel to West on Tuesday for the South State championship at 7 p.m.
No further details were reported.
— Jamie Wachter
West Lauderdale 1
Northeast Jones girls 0
After getting knocked out of the playoffs during last year’s playoffs by Northeast Jones, the West Lauderdale girls soccer team found itself in a similar second-round meeting with the Tigers on Saturday in Laurel.
The Knights avenged last year’s defeat to move on to the South State championship.
“We were kind of hoping for revenge,” West Lauderdale coach Alex George said. “We were really happy with the win today.”
The Knights scored in the game’s opening minutes when Taylor Gray crossed the ball to Lacy Billings who put it in the net to score the game’s only goal.
The two teams both had opportunities to score throughout the game. As the game closed down to its final minutes, George nervously waited on the sidelines. Last year, the Knights blew a one-goal lead late to the Tigers before losing in overtime. However, this year West was able to avoid a late storm by the Tigers and come out with the win.
“I was just sitting at the end of my bench thinking oh goodness,” George said. “The momentum was much different today. I think it was more of a will to win.”
West Lauderdale travels to play Greene County on Tuesday in the South State championship.
“We know them,” George said of Greene County. “We’ve seen them before, and they have a good team. They have a really good play in Darby Nettles, who is a William Carey commit. We will have to deal with her and find ways in practice to be able to contain her.”
— Tony Tsoukalas
South Pontotoc girls 3
Choctaw Central 2
The Choctaw Central girls soccer team saw its 2012-13 dream season come to a close Saturday, as the Warriors fell at home in overtime.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” Choctaw Central coach Aaron Terrell said, “We came out a little flat and got behind early. We really outplayed them in the second half, but we tied it up and never could go ahead.”
The two teams traded blows back and forth during the game, with Choctaw Central’s Jashnique Steve scoring both goals in regulation for the Warriors.
The Cougars scored in overtime, taking advantage of a free kick and sending it in to the box where it was headed in for the game-winning goal.
The loss ends a big year for the Warriors, who finished the season at 17-3 including a first district championship. Choctaw will only lose three players from this year’s team and hopes to build on this loss for next season.
“Hopefully this will give us motivation to work harder,” Terrell said. “We should be able to bounce back next year, we have a lot of our key offensive players coming back.”
— Tony Tsoukalas