Vicksburg sweeps Warren Central

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2000

Lyn Strawn (23) of Warren Central zooms past Vicksburg’s Beth Ashby, but the Missy Gators won, 2-0. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

Vicksburg High coach Josh Harper promised his goalie a steak dinner when he recorded his first shutout. The way Bobby McComas played Thursday night against Warren Central, he should get all the trimmings too.

McComas, a senior, made 17 saves to help the Gators (3-5) to their first win over WC (5-4) since the 1996-97 season, 1-0.

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“I owe my keeper a steak. He can have the whole dang calf,” said a smiling Harper, who got his first win over the Vikings in three seasons as the Gators coach.

Lane Campbell scored the game’s only goal at the 27-minute mark of the second half. A WC handball set up a free kick for Campbell about 35 yards from the goal, and he sailed a shot into the right side of the net.

It was the only blemish for either goalie, as McComas and WC’s Bradley Downey traded highlight-reel saves throughout the game.

With about seven minutes left in the first half, McComas leaped high in the air to punch away a WC shot. After the ensuing corner kick settled in front of the net, Campbell cleared the ball to Michael Thornton about 30 yards up the field.

Thornton beat his defender, the last man between him and the goal, at midfield but Downey stopped him cold with a diving save. It was one of four Downey saves on breakaways by Thornton.

The Gator defense helped McComas in the first half by knocking away several balls in front of the net, but in the second half he seemed to take over. He made seven saves on 10 second-half shots, including three in the final 13 minutes after Campbell’s goal.

“They seemed like forever,” McComas, a wide smile across his face, said of the final minutes. “But my defense saved me. I’d save the ball and they’d kick it out for me. They saved me.”

While McComas and the Gators were smiling and celebrating, the Vikings left Memorial Stadium frustrated.

“You can’t discredit the other players on their team. They played a hard game, they played well and they won. It only takes one goal to win, and they got it and that’s how it is,” WC coach Jay Harrison said. “But Bobby played outstanding. Two or three shots were in the back of the net and he came out of nowhere to block them … I think we played well. We played well enough to win, but we didn’t. That’s been the story of our life. We can’t finish.”

(G) VHS 2, WC 0

Brandi Parker scored both goals for the Missy Gators (7-1), who controlled the flow for much of the game but were kept in check by WC (5-4-1) goalie Courtney Hubert.

Hubert stopped 11 of the 13 shots she faced and prevented several more by coming out of the net to challenge shooters. Parker’s first goal, assisted by Kim Griffin came on a high, arching shot that fell in just behind Hubert midway through the first half and the second was the result of a three-shot barrage by VHS with seconds to play.

Facing a three-on-one, Hubert stopped the first two shots before Parker knocked in a rebound of Cassie Griffing’s shot to make it 2-0.

“We played real well all over the field. Our defense saved us a couple of times, but without their goalie, we’re up 3-0 at halftime. She made a couple of good saves,” VHS coach Kevin Manton said.

Both defenses helped keep the shot total down in the first half by screening shots before they came anywhere near the goal.

Warren Central’s best chance came late in the first half when VHS keeper Viola Howard made a save on a floating shot, but bobbled and dropped the ball in front of the net. Before any Lady Vikes could knock it home, however, VHS’ Brandi Head made a sliding save to kick it away.

“For a while I really thought it was going to end up 0-0, because it was a while before any one scored. They finally scored, but I knew it was going to be a good matchup with them,” WC coach Holly Lane said.

WC had some scoring chances in the second half, but struggled to sustain any pressure. Still, the Missy Gators felt they could play better defensively.

“We can play better defense. We did good recovering, but this is Warren Central and we always get a little anxious about this,” VHS’ Courtney Chapman said.