Hat trick lifts Vicksburg over Warren Central|Prep soccer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Warren Central has seen more than enough of Tabitha Hayden for one season. The bad news is, they’ve got to deal with her for three more.

Hayden scored two goals in the first 13 minutes, then added a third midway through the second half to lead Vicksburg High to a 3-1 victory over Warren Central on Tuesday night.

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The win all but clinched a playoff spot for Vicksburg (7-5-2, 3-1 Division 4-6A) — it needs only to beat lowly Greenville-Weston on Thursday to make it official — and finished a season sweep of Warren Central. Hayden scored all four of Vicksburg’s goals in the two wins over WC.

“This is great. We have really picked up the program and done better this season,” Hayden said. “We put our hearts into this game, and that made the difference.”

Warren Central (6-6-3, 1-1) had its playoff hopes hurt, but not ended. The Lady Vikes still have two games remaining against division leader Clinton, on Saturday and Monday. The first tiebreaker is goal differential, so WC can still finish second if it wins both games or splits, yet totals more goals.

“Clinton has some young players up front, and they’re struggling. If my team can play like they did in the second half tonight, they can beat Clinton,” WC coach Janet McMaster said.

Hayden got Vicksburg off to a fast start, scoring in the opening minutes and then again on a penalty kick for a 2-0 lead just 13 minutes into the game.

Warren Central didn’t wilt, though. It kept the difference at two goals for the rest of the half and had several chances to cut it to one early in the second. Mallory Reynolds sailed a penalty kick high in the sixth minute, and Vicksburg keeper Kelli Brewer stopped a tough angle shot from the right side a few minutes later.

Finally, Hayden made the Lady Vikes pay for the missed opportunities. She added her third goal in the 19th minute to make it 3-0. Reynolds scored off an assist from Dana Warnock with 10 minutes to play to make it 3-1, but it was too late for WC to get back in the game.

“I didn’t think the girls gave up. I think we kept good pressure on them,” McMaster said. “It’s not like we just did not play. You just can’t make mistakes against good players.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com