After falling to the Brandon Blasters for the state championship in Tupelo, the Meridian Blue Angels had a second chance Sunday.
However, in the gold medal game of the U-10 State Games of Mississippi soccer tournament, the Blasters once again had the Blue Angels’ number, winning 2-1 once again.
“We played them for the President’s Cup in Tupelo and they beat us 2-1 there,” Blue Angels coach Neil Henry said. The Blue Angels are now 31-4 with those two championship game defeats against the Blasters. They also have won four tournament titles this summer. “So we haven’t had the best of luck against them, but they are a great, great team.”
“These teams are so evenly matched and this heat is such a factor. It was hard to get out there and play five games, but they played their hearts out.”
To get the latest championship bout and a shot at the golden medals, the Blue Angels first had to show their mettle. After the JFC Liverpool scored late in regulation to tie the Blue Angels in the semifinal round. Meridian regrouped to net the lone overtime goal and advance.
“Considering all the practices we’ve had and the tournaments we’ve played in, for us to keep competing and competing like champions is the work that these girls deserve to be in a championship,” Henry added. “They’re winners. They’re champions.”
There, though, Brandon overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to win the title, despite a team effort from the Blue Angels, who went unbeaten in three pool-play games.
“Rae Rae Wilson and Jada Smith scored a lot of goals,” Henry said. “But we’ve got defensive stoppers like Caroline Green, Lauren Davidson. We’ve got a lot of role players like Anna Kate Henry and Diana Suarez. All of these girls are role players that play their roles to a ‘T’.
“The best part about it, though, is all of these girls are a team.”