Clinton tops VHS in overtime

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2001

Bobby McComas of Vicksburg High dives to save a shot by Clinton’s Shadi Sleigh. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[01/24/01] The team that ended Vicksburg High’s division championship hopes will be the Missy Gators’ biggest ally on Saturday.

Clinton (10-2-3, 1-0 Division 3-5A) got a goal from Kristin Meeks three minutes into overtime to upend Vicksburg, 3-2, for the Lady Arrows’ third win over VHS this season.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

Now, the Missy Gators (13-4, 1-1) must wait for the outcome of Saturday’s Warren Central-Clinton matchup. A Clinton win gives the Lady Arrows the division championship and Vicksburg gets the second seed. With a Warren Central win, all the teams will be 1-1 in division play and a series of tiebreakers will be used to determine who gets the final playoff spot.

No matter the outcome, the Missy Gators lost a shot at hosting the opening game of the state playoffs. A trip to top-ranked Tupelo, a team VHS beat 7-1 the last time they played, will greet the second-place finisher in the division.

“This was an all-out win and it’s yours and I challenged our girls before the game,” Vicksburg coach Kevin Manton said. “I told them, You lose, it’s a four-hour bus ride to Tupelo and they are going to be madder than a hornet.’ ”

Cassie Griffing scored a pair of second-half goals for Vicksburg both on unusual plays to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit.

First, Griffing’s corner bounced off goalie Jill Breland’s hands into the net nine minutes into the second half. Six minutes later, Griffing put the ball in front of the net and Lady Arrows’ Megan Black kicked the ball into the goal accidentally to knot the game at 2.

“There were a lot of goals scored tonight and we scored most of them for or against us,” Clinton coach Thomas Bobo said. “We always expect a tough game from Vicksburg and tonight was no exception.”

The Lady Arrows took advantage of equally good fortune in the first half after Vicksburg’s Laura Peyton scored for a 1-0 Clinton lead with 12:16 to play in the first half.

Seven minutes later, Black scored for a 2-0 Clinton lead.

“We don’t find ourselves with a two-goal lead very often this year,” Bobo said. “We’ve had trouble scoring this year and I don’t know if we knew what to do with a two-goal lead.”

Vicksburg, which outshot the visitors 24-19, had several chances late in the game, but three shots hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal.

The Missy Gators were playing without leading scorer Brandi Parker, who stretched ligaments in both knees and will be out at least four weeks. Starters Leanne Feibelman and Neely Nasif left the game in overtime with leg cramps.

(B) Vicksburg 1, Clinton 1

Bobby McComas sure caught Clinton coach Jeff Long’s eye.

The standout senior goalkeeper at Vicksburg (5-6-2) made 16 saves, most of them shorthanded after James Crawley was whistled for a red card midway through the first half and had to sit out the rest of the game.

Steven Meniglio finally found a way to beat McComas on a desperation shot with 1:12 left to play to tie the Gators, 1-1.

“The defense sort of watched the shot as if it were going to go wide,” Vicksburg coach Josh Harper said. “I thought it was going to sail wide. Heck, we whipped Clinton, lucky shot or not.”

With the score 0-0, Lane Campbell converted a penalty kick one of just two Vicksburg shots all night for a 1-0 lead. The Arrows (8-5-2) outshot VHS, 38-2.

“It seems like everyone has their best game against us,” said Long, a former Warren Central girls soccer coach.

“My hats off to Vicksburg; they played their hearts out.”