Try as they might, the Greenbrier High School girls soccer team couldn’t overcome the first 15 minutes of the first half Monday night in the second round of the Georgia High School Association’s Class AAAAA state tournament.
With 24:44 left in the half, Starr’s Mill’s freshman Lauren Yoss scored her second goal as the Lady Panthers went up 3-0 en route to the 3-1 win at Greenbrier.
“Giving up three first half goals, it’s tough to get back in it,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick, whose squad finished the year 10-6-2.
The game started in stunning fashion. On the opening kick, Star’s Mill’s Molly Moroney passed ahead to Lauren Yoss, who got behind the defense, shooting past Greenbrier goalkeeper Gabby Meyering and scoring just nine seconds into the game.
Starr’s Mill (15-5), the No. 4 seed from Region 4, entered the game with a 7-0 win in the first round of the tournament. It appeared things might get ugly when Leslie Logan fought off a defender, spun and put the ball in the lower left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead at the 36:23 mark of the first half.
“I think we were just a little bit nervous coming in,” said Lady Wolfpack senior Emily Ludwig. “After that I think we were doing pretty good.”
All four teams from Region 4 advanced to the state’s second round and Kendrick knew what his girls might be up against.
“This is by far the toughest region in AAAAA, if not in the whole state,” Kendrick said.
Down 3-0, the Lady Wolfpack refused to quit but couldn’t take advantage of the situations they put themselves in. Charlotte Rindt got a ball bouncing in front of the net and kicked it past the keeper with 32 seconds left in the half, cutting the Lady Panthers lead to 3-1.
The goal didn’t translate into any immediate offensive momentum in the second half, however.
“Shoot, we had our chances. We hit the crossbar and we had a one-on-one with the keeper right there at the end and we had a few other really nice chances.” said Kendrick.
Though they weren’t able to overcome the Lady Panthers, Ludwig was happy with the way the team responded to the adversity.
“The second half we did really good,” Ludwig said. “Everyone played really, really hard. I’m proud of my team, proud of everyone who played. They’re going to be good next year, too.”