Wednesday's boys and girls high school soccer match-ups between Greenbrier and Lakeside resulted in split victories.
The Lakeside girls earned a confidence boost in their 3-2 win against their county rivals.
"This is huge for them," Lakeside coach Nick Edmond said. "We haven't beaten them in three or four years. The senior class had never won against Greenbrier.
"Heading into the playoffs, this really boosts their confidence level."
The Panthers struck first in the first half when Kara Hogan put a shot over the goalie's head after fielding a pass across the middle from Stephanie Allen.
With 3:21 left in the half, Greenbrier forward Bay Daniel tied the contest. Lakeside keeper Diana Tran collided with a Greenbrier player, and the ball shot sideways to a waiting Daniel. Tran couldn't recover from the stumble in time to head off Daniel's shot.
Lakeside's other goals came early in the second half, including a score from Kessler Matheson, delivered from the left side of the field, that seemed to curve around the Wolfpack keeper.
Panther sophomore Katie Coleman scored a few minutes later, assisted by Matheson.
Though Greenbrier's Alex Cohen scored with about 20 minutes left, the Wolfpack failed to overcome Lakeside's quick defense again.
Lakeside improved to 14-2, with one of those losses coming from Region 3-AAAA rival Evans, which nixed its chances at a region championship. It will enter the playoffs this month as a second seed.
Though Greenbrier dropped to 11-2-2, it already has secured a region championship in 2-AAAAA.
The Greenbrier boys grabbed all the momentum early in the second half of its game with Lakeside and cruised to a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night.
Hunter Norton scored once and assisted on two other goals to spark the Wolfpack, who remained unbeaten and can complete a sweep of area teams with a win over Evans on Monday night.
Norton's goal, scored five minutes into the second half, broke a 1-1 tie. He charged up the middle of the field, fought off multiple defenders and flicked the ball over the goalkeeper.
The Wolfpack dominated from there.
"His individual play on that goal kind of turned it around," Lakeside coach Dave Morgan said. "That was all Hunter, and you have to respect a player like that."
Norton, a 6-foot-2 Georgia Southern signee, also assisted on second-half goals by Kelechi Erondu and Stephen Maxwell. Gabriel Rafols scored the Wolfpack's first goal.
Norton found plenty of space to create scoring chances in the middle of the field.
"He's gliding," said Greenbrier coach Chip Warren, whose team has not lost a regular-season game in more than two years. "He can turn it on when he wants to and always steps up for big matches. When the big games come around, you can always count on Hunter being there."
Both teams were troubled by the same thing coming into the game: They had dominated their regions so much that they had rarely played a full game because of a mercy rule that ends games at 10-0.
"Very rarely do we play a complete game," said Morgan, whose team won Region 3-AAAA and has played seven 10-0 games. "So we get into games like this ... it's hard to transition from playing lower-quality teams and steeping up and having to play quicker."
Steven Campbell scored Lakeside's lone goal with about 15 minutes left in the first half.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.