Published 12:00 am Monday, June 23, 2003

Head shines on defense to lead South to victory

[6/22/03]RAYMOND Brandi Head didn’t get a lot of playing time as a defender for Vicksburg High this season. She certainly didn’t play as a goalkeeper.

Yet there she was on Saturday, playing the role of defensive hero and helping the South to a 1-0 win at the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Game at Hinds Community College.

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Head turned in a solid game perfomance along the back defensive line for the South and was selected the game’s defensive MVP. She clinched the award with a jumping save with about two minutes to play, preserving the shutout and the win.

“I just wanted to do well,” Head said. “It’s good, because nobody expected us to win. ”

Harrison Central’s Sandra Magee scored the game’s only goal off a corner kick from Ocean Springs’ Katy Evans about 17 minutes into the second half.

The goal capped a long stretch of sustained offensive pressure by the South that turned the game in its favor. After an even, scoreless first half that ended with the North holding a 6-5 advantage in shots on goal, the South turned up the heat early in the second half.

The South had four shots on goal and several other scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the half to put the North back on its heels. Evans hit the post at the 16:40 mark, and the ball deflected out of bounds.

On the ensuing corner kick, Evans found Magee, who put the ball past keeper Karen Denney for a 1-0 lead.

“We all talked about it, and we’re all kind of slow starters as far as the game goes. We need to get built up and get our second wind, and we all got our second wind at the same time,” said South all-star Alisha Lawrence of Warren Central, who missed a shot high of the goal early in the second half.

The South settled into a defensive posture after that, but the North had one last flurry. With about two minutes to play, South keeper Jennifer Ghere of Long Beach blocked a shot and the ball squirted under her to the right of the goal.

As the North’s Stephanie Little gathered it in, Head was a few steps away and dropped back toward the goal. Little ripped a high shot, and Head jumped and blocked it with her chest. Amy Ashworth got the rebound for the North, but her shot sailed high.

“I was just trying to get back in the goal, or at least try,” Head said. “If the goalie goes down, you recover to the goal.”

(B) North 3, South 0

In the boys’ game, the North overwhelmed the South with teamwork and speed, and cruised to an easy win.

Micah Usry had two goals and an assist, and Kyle Moore had a goal and two assists for the North, which outshot the South 16-1 in the second half.

More than half of the North all-stars play together with the select Jackson Futbol Club. Warren Central’s Greg Carroll, who was playing for the South, said the familiarity was a big advantage for the North.

“They were a lot better than we were. They had nine club team players. That all-star team right there pretty much plays together the whole summer,” said Carroll, who missed on the only shot he took in the game.

Hunter Sumerall also represented WC for the South. St. Aloysius’ Joe Theobald was also selected to play in the all-star game, but withdrew because of a hamstring injury.