Missy Gators move on to South State final

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

[2/2/03]BILOXI Two-time defending state champion Vicksburg continued its dominance over Biloxi in the Class 5A state soccer playoffs on Saturday.

Eighth-grader Holly Head had a hat trick as the Missy Gators (21-2-2) beat Biloxi (11-3) in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight season, 5-2.

Vicksburg (21-2-2), which has won five state championships in the last seven years, will host Clinton in the 5A state semifinals on Tuesday.

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It’s a rematch of last year’s South State championship game, which the Missy Gators won 3-1. Vicksburg also beat Clinton earlier this season en route to the Division 6-5A championship. Clinton finished second in the division, and advanced with wins over Long Beach and Oak Grove. Vicksburg beat Gulfport in the first round.

Vicksburg had a half-dozen scoring chances in the opening minutes on Saturday, and led 5-1 at halftime.

“Getting off to a fast start made a lot of difference for us,” Vicksburg coach Kevin Manton said. “It was our best first-half effort over the past two weeks. We’ve been in a little funk. It could have easily been 4-0.”

Head, who started last season as a seventh-grade halfback, was surprised at her success against the Lady Indians.

“I didn’t expect to do this well against Biloxi,” Head said. “My hip has been hurting all season long and we were in a slump. We showed up today.”

Biloxi’s lone bright spot was the play of Jeana Erickson, who scored both of her team’s goals.

“We came out and prepared for Vicksburg,” Lady Indians coach Teresa Fernandez said. “They had opportunities and capitalized. We had those same opportunities and didn’t captialize. Vicksburg has a good team, and they are the defending champions.”

Head scored all three of her goals in the game’s first 15 minutes, giving the Missy Gators an insurmountable 3-0 edge.

Erickson scored her first goal with 10 minutes left in the first half, cutting the margin to 3-1, but Vicksburg dashed any hopes of a Biloxi upset by closing the first half with two goals to lead 5-1 at intermission.

Jill Rush and Brandi Parker closed out Vicksburg’s scoring. Parker’s goal was her 47th this season.

Erickson scored the second half’s only goal.