How important were the soccer victories Lakeside High School's squads recorded at Greenbrier on April 17?
Check the first-round results of the Class AAAA state soccer playoffs and you'll find the answer.
By virtue of their narrow road wins over Greenbrier earlier this season, the Lakeside girls and boys claimed Region 3-AAAA titles. That, in turn, gave the Panthers and Lady Panthers No. 1 seeds in the state playoffs.
Greenbrier's teams, meanwhile, each settled for a No. 2 seed, which meant more difficult draws in the state playoffs.
The end result? Both Lakeside teams won opening-round state playoff matches last week, and the Greenbrier High School squads are through in 2002.
The Panthers pounded Union Grove High School 6-0 Tuesday at Panther Stadium. The No. 4 seed Wolverines were no match for Lakeside's superior speed and deft dribbling skills.
"Everybody stepped up and played really well," Lakeside soccer coach Dave Morgan said. "We like to use our speed on the wings as much as possible, then play off that speed to create opportunities in the middle. It was a good win."
The Panthers (13-4-1) are back home Monday, with a second-round match against Columbus High School (game time TBA).
The Lakeside girls edged Rockdale County High School 3-2 Wednesday at Panther Stadium, as goalkeeper Ansley Evans notched 12 saves, and Rebecca Bohler, Kristen Cianciolo and Susanne Rogers tallied goals. Lakeside (14-3) will play host to Shaw in a second-round state playoff match this Tuesday (game time TBA).
Both Greenbrier soccer teams suffered lapses late in their matches with Salem High School's squads, which led to a double demise at the Brierpatch.
The Wolfpack lost 2-1 after allowing Salem to score the winning goal with only 18 seconds remaining in the second overtime period Tuesday night, while the Greenbrier girls squandered a 2-0 second-half advantage Wednesday and fell 4-2 to the Lady Patriots.
"We jumped out to a two-goal lead. The biggest thing is you've got to hold on and play hard," Lady Wolfpack coach Alex Heider said after his team was knocked out in the opening round by Salem for the second straight season.
The Pack also experienced some disheartening deja vu - Greenbrier has now lost a state playoff match at the Brierpatch in the waning moments of play in three of the past four seasons.
Columbia County prep squads fared better in first-round state playoff tennis action.
Wednesday at Lakeside, the Panthers and Lady Panthers blasted their opponents in Class AAAA openers. The Lakeside boys whipped Thomas County Central 5-0, and the Lady Panthers crushed Cairo by the same margin.
The Lakeside tennis teams each are bidding for a third consecutive trip to the Class AAAA Final Four.
In Class AAAAA state tennis, the Evans Knights improved to 17-1 on the season by hammering Hardaway High School 4-1 Wednesday in Columbus. Walter Whitmire, Matt Hebbard and Bryan Connor swept singles matches for Evans, and Brandon Hebbard and John Paul Stout teamed for a win at No. 1 doubles.
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