Lakeside goalkeeper Rachel Hardin craves the excitement of a big game against a rival team.
When regular play in the region championship between Greenbrier and Lakeside ended in a tie, Hardin was the only Lady Panther standing in the way as Greenbrier players lined up for the penalty kicks that would determine the winner.
“Your team is behind you but (as goalkeeper) it’s all up to you. It’s nerve wracking but it’s an awesome feeling,” says Hardin.
The coaching staff at South Georgia State College apparently liked what they saw in Hardin and offered her an opportunity to play for their team. Hardin celebrated with her family, coaches and teammates during a signing ceremony in the school’s media center.
After visiting the South Georgia State College in Douglas, Ga., Hardin felt good about her opportunity to be part of their student body.
“The coaches were so nice, the girls were so enjoyable,” said Harden, “ and the school is really nice.”
Lakeside coach Nick Edmond had praise for Hardin, too.
“Being goalkeeper is a pretty nervous job. She stepped in this year. She especially played well against Greenbrier,” said Edmond.
The team finished the 2013 season with a 13-3-1 record and advanced to the state tournament’s second round.