All the suspense was gone quickly in Greenbrier’s opening round game in the GHSA Class AAAA girls soccer state tournament against Northside, Warner Robins.
Controlling the ball from the beginning, the Lady Wolfpack methodically worked their way down the field. Senior Bay Daniel set up freshman Raven Rose on the right side of the goal and she slid the ball into the right side of the net with less than two minutes gone in the game. Daniel would score nine minutes later and the Lady Wolfpack went on to a 3-0 win.
“It was great to score early, especially getting two early,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick. “I think it kind of slowed my girls down thinking they were going to just cruise on through and it didn’t happen.”
Greembrier (18-0-1) entered as a No. 1 seed and prohibitive favorite against the Lady Eagles (8-8-1), and it showed in the first half as the Lady Wolfpack peppered the Lady Eagles’ goal with 22 shots. Lady Eagles goalie Anna Maddux stopped seven of the shots and the Lady Wolfpack saw some good looks go by the board.
“We get our chances,” Kendrick said. “We get hot here and there. We weren’t finishing.”
Entering the second half leading 2-0, the Lady Wolfpack struck quickly once more. Daniel worked down the left sideline and got the ball to Katie Belser in front. Belser’s initial shot went off the left post, but she quickly banged home the rebound.
“We knew we had to score the most goals we could get to get a good comfort zone,” said Belser.
On a hot night, with goalie Whitney Roberts required to make just three saves, Kendrick was able to rest Daniel and the rest of the starters substantially in the second half.
The Lady Wolfpack were without starter Carly Ray, who was nursing an injury, but she is expected to be ready when the Lady Wolfpack host Lambert in the state’s second round on Wednesday.
In other girls action Wednesday, Lakeside entered the tournament as a No. 4 seed and took No. 1 seed Lee County to penalty kicks. The teams finished regulation tied at two. Lee County outscored the Lady Panthers 3-1 on kicks for the win.