Blanchard Woods Park–––After a sluggish first half, the Lakeside High School girls soccer team came out of the break with a vengeance.
With just over two minutes gone in the second half, Lady Panthers’ junior Logan Williams took a shot that was blocked by a defender. The rebound came right back to her, however, and she was able to find the back of the net. That goal would be the game-winner as the Lady Panthers went on to beat Greenbrier 2-0, winning the Region 2-AAAAA title for the second consecutive year.
“It was really a motivator because going into the half we knew we had to pick it up and become a better team and that goal got us going,” Williams said.
With 25:31 left in the game, senior Cassandra Wade scored with an assist from junior Devin Haygood to all but salt it away.
With the win, the Lady Panthers (12-3, 7-2 region) earned a No. 1 seed in the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA girls state tournament and will play host to Region 4’s No. 4 team, Union Grove on Wednesday.
The Lady Wolfpack (9-2-1, 8-1) will be a No. 2 seed and play host to No. 3 McIntosh.
The Lady Wolfpack beat the Lady Panthers twice during the regular season and came out pressing the issue from the onset. They had good chances go off crossbars, off posts and they missed opportunities to put pressure on the Lady Panthers early on.
With 7:45 left in the first half, the Lady Panthers’ Wade dribbled down the left side, cut to the middle but her shot sailed over the crossbar and the teams went into halftime scoreless.
Lakeside head coach Nick Edmond said they didn’t make any major adjustments at halftime, he told them to throw caution to the wind and have fun.
“It’s a good senior group and they took the leadership and they’re pretty much the ones who did it,” said Edmond. “I reminded them of the things we worked on and they did it.”
Wade and her teammates listened to Edmond’s message.
“Coming out in the first half like that was a little disappointing but at halftime we decided this is what we really wanted and this is what we’ve been working for all season, so we just decided to step it up and pressure hard,” Wade said.
Even with her goal, Wade was nervous almost to the very end.
“I was really worried until the last five minutes of the (second) half,” said Wade. “You can never have too many goals.”