WC falls in second round

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 2, 2004

Warren Central’s Racheal Vinzant walks off the field after the Lady Vikes 2-0 playoff loss to Long Beach. (Jenny SevcikThe Vicksburg Post)

[2/1/04]Playoff soccer often comes down to waiting for one opportunity, then pouncing on it. Long Beach pressed Warren Central until it cracked and gave the Lady Bearcats that opening on Saturday.

Ginger Galster slipped behind WC’s defense on a free kick and scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second half, and Long Beach ended the Lady Vikes’ season with a 2-0 win in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs on Saturday.

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Shayna Turner assisted on Galster’s goal and added a goal of her own with just under eight minutes to play that sealed the victory. Long Beach (16-5) will now face Gulfport, a 4-2 winner over Vicksburg on Saturday, in the South State championship game on Tuesday.

Despite the tough loss, WC coach Kristin Gough was happy with her team’s season. The Lady Vikes were expected to go through some growing pains this season as they broke in a young roster, but instead came within three wins of the school’s first state championship.

“I definitely think this gives us something to shoot for next year,” WC coach Kristin Gough said. “Not only to get back to the playoffs and win in the first round, but to go even further. I hate it for the girls, because we’re young, but this wasn’t our time. It wasn’t our year.”

After an even, scoreless first half, Long Beach dominated the second. The Lady Bearcats outshot WC 15-1 in the second half, and didn’t allow a shot in the last 30 minutes.

Despite the siege, WC’s defense held firm. The Lady Vikes allowed only a couple of quality shots, and Emily Coker made 16 saves in the game 12 of them in the second half to keep WC in it.

Finally, though, Long Beach broke through.

With about 20 minutes to play in the game, Kristin Hamilton took a free kick from about 30 yards out. Instead of firing it toward the goal, however, she kicked it around the Lady Vikes’ wall to Turner, who quickly passed it back to Galster.

Galster had made her way behind several WC defenders, and took a wide-open shot from just inside the goal box. Coker lunged after it, but the ball landed in the lower right corner of the net to put Long Beach ahead 1-0.

“It was little bit like everything stopped for a minute right there,” Galster said. “It pumped the team up.”

Now needing a goal to keep their season alive, the Lady Vikes started to press on the offensive end. They made a few pushes deep into Long Beach territory, but never put any sustained pressure on goal keeper Hayley Hammons and didn’t put a shot on goal.

Long Beach, meanwhile, kept the momentum when it had the ball and peppered Coker with shots. With about 7:45 to play in the game, Turner gathered a loose ball along the right sideline and unleashed a shot into the upper left corner of the net to make it 2-0.

“When they scored that first goal, I knew that since we were struggling on the attack that I was going to have to make a change. And that was in an attempt to spark something up top,” Gough said. “But the second goal was the result of my coaching strategy. When you’re down a goal, you have to take some risks.”

Overtime goal gets Oak Grove by Vikings

From staff reports

Warren Central coach Jay Harrison looked at his team late in Saturday’s playoff game against Oak Grove and tried to convince them that what they were experiencing was fun.

It was also nerve-wracking and classic.

Oak Grove scored with 15 seconds to play in the second golden-goal overtime on Saturday to beat Warren Central 2-1 in the second round of the boys’ Class 5A playoffs, ending a 110-minute defensive marathon.

The loss ended a 10-game winning streak for the Vikings, who shut out 12 opponents on the year.

Each team had only a dozen shots on goal for the game, and both regulation-time goals were scored in a two-minute span.

“They played a heckuva ballgame, we played a heckuva ballgame, and it’s tough to lose in the last 15 seconds,” Harrison said. “We lost, but we didn’t get beat. We came down here before and got stomped. This wasn’t a stomping by either team.”

Oak Grove took a 1-0 lead midway through the second half, but WC answered moments later on a penalty kick by Allen Carlisle. The score stayed knotted at 1-1 through the rest of regulation, two 10-minute overtime halves, and the better part of two five-minute, sudden-death overtimes.

Finally, in the closing seconds of the second sudden-death period, Oak Grove was awarded a throw-in deep in WC territory.

A Warriors player muscled his way through the Warren Central defense in the goal box and headed the ball into the net for the game-winner.

“It was a great play,” Harrison said, adding that he wasn’t terribly disappointed by the finish. “There’s some positive things here. This year has been a great year for these seniors. Unfortunately, somebody had to win this game and somebody had to lose it. I’m sure (Oak Grove) would be saying the same thing if they had lost.”

(G) Gulfport 4, VHS 2

For the first time since the girls’ soccer playoffs began in 1996, Vicksburg High will go more than one season without a state championship.

Four different Gulfport players scored goals as the Lady Admirals (18-3-1) avenged last year’s playoff defeat to the Missy Gators in the second round of the Class 5A girls’ playoffs.

Katelyn Graben, Megan Mayer, Megan Heinrich, and Jessica Wilkes each scored a goal for Gulfport, which lost 2-1 to VHS in the first round of the playoffs last season.

This time, Gulfport took a 1-0 lead in the first half and outlasted the Missy Gators in the second. Vicksburg cut the deficit to 2-1 early in the second half before Gulfport scored the next three goals to take a 4-1 lead and put the game away.

Vicksburg was playing without goalie Megan Humphries, who was injured in the Missy Gators’ 2-0 win over Ocean Springs on Tuesday. Humphries was kicked in the neck and suffered a concussion.