Lady Vikes take rematch Warren Central boys take down Vicksburg to clinch playoff berth

Published 11:27 am Friday, January 20, 2012

Some things are worth the wait.

Thursday’s Vicksburg-Warren Central game was postponed twice, but the much-delayed game proved to be one of the most classic in the rivalry.

Warren Central earned a 2-1 victory — thanks to two big goals by senior Lindsey Barfield — and moved a step closer to the playoffs. The Lady Vikes can clinch a berth with anything less than a five-goal loss at Clinton tonight. Clinton beat WC 1-0 last week.

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“Tomorrow, expect a defensive struggle,” WC coach Trey Banks said. “It’s about getting a result and getting to the playoffs. Any team when they tied it up could’ve folded it in, but our girls pushed forward and got the goal. I’m so proud of them.”

The Missy Gators will need help to make it and even then, it’d be a 50-50 shot. They need a three-goal victory at Greenville-Weston tonight and a five-goal loss by WC to get to a coin toss to decide the final playoff berth.

“That was definitely not what we hoped,” Vicksburg coach Kori Babb said. “We had, as our goal, to make it to North State and at least, the playoffs. I hate that we’re putting it in someone else’s hands.”

Barfield, who hadn’t missed a game since eighth grade until last week’s game against Clinton, would not be denied in her return after a balky right knee sidelined her.

Her first goal was the most spectacular. She booted a shot from 38 yards out and it looked to sail over the crossbar. But it sank downwards and goalkeeper Robin Cooper could only get fingertips on it as it hit the back of the net behind her. WC took a 1-0 lead into the break.

In the second half, Vicksburg tied it up as Amy Dixon scored off a rebound in a scrum in front of the goalbox with 27:34 remaining.

But WC’s reply wasn’t far away, just a shade under a minute to be exact.

On the winning second goal, Kelci McMaster pushed the ball forward after a goal kick and found Taylor Hanes, who booted a nice shot that Cooper intercepted perfectly. But Cooper didn’t make a clean grab and the ball deflected off her, allowing Barfield to boot home the rebound for the winning goal.

“It was wild,” Barfield said. “I had set in my mind that I wasn’t losing. I thought I was going to faint after I made that first goal.”