Feibelman hopes to hurry up, pass final test vs. Brandon

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2002

[02/9/02]The disappointment was obvious on Leanne Feibelman’s usually smiling face Thursday night.

Her fourth-ranked Missy Gators (18-2) had just beaten Clinton to earn their sixth state championship game berth in seven years, yet it was sad for the four-year senior.

Today’s state championship game, which starts at 11 a.m., conflicts with her taking the ACT, which does not end until noon.

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It’s not Feibelman trying to reach the minimum NCAA required score to play college soccer.

No, she needs one more point to earn a scholarship to Mississippi State.

“The deadline for the scholarship is April 1 and the next time the test is given is April 6,” said Feibelman, who has helped VHS win a pair of state championships and finished her career 11-0 in the playoffs. “I haven’t really said much about it because I’ve been so upset, but I’m planning on doing something special for the team before they leave.”

Feibelman was the last player to leave the Missy Gators’ dressing room Thursday night. She was back on the field Friday, even knowing she would not play, for the team’s final practice before the title game.

“That’s the last time I’ll practice with them,” she said.

Feibelman, along with a pair of managers and senior Charlsie Bufkin, tried to get the championship game rescheduled, to no avail.

Every year, the Class 5A title game has been at 11. The 1A-2A-3A game will follow at 1 p.m. and the 4A title game will start at 3. All the games will be at Clinton Junior High.

Feibelman said she plans to leave VHS after taking the test at noon and drive straight to Clinton in hopes “that there’s still a little time on the clock so I can at least get one foot on the field.”

She is one of six seniors who will try to complete an undefeated playoff career, but it won’t be simple.

Brandon enters the game with the state’s No. 1 ranking and a 21-1 record.

Madison Central, the team that lost to Brandon in North State, is the only team to have beaten the Lady Bulldogs this year.

“They are physical, and we expect them to come out and play hard,” senior Neely Nasif said. “We haven’t played them, but we’ll be ready.”

The Lady Bulldogs are led by Miranda Hays’ 20 goals and Sheri Toler’s 16. Against Madison Thursday, Ashley Underwood scored the game’s only goal.

The Missy Gators counter with sophomore Brandi Parker, who leads the state with 35 goals. Nasif is second with 17.

“It’s going to take a lot to beat them,” said VHS senior Cassie Griffing, who is tied for third on the team with 12 goals. “We’ll have to battle them because they have a lot of strength.”

Vicksburg has history on its side. The Missy Gators have won four state titles in six years and played in one more. Brandon will be making its first appearance in the girls’ final.

“They have a bunch of players that play together outside of school,” VHS coach Kevin Manton said. “They’ve taken their lumps coming through the years, but they’ve put it together this year.”