Missy Gators top Cleveland Central in overtime shootout

Published 2:30 pm Saturday, December 18, 2021

The Vicksburg Missy Gators capped a busy week — and the first half of their soccer season — with a game to remember.

The Missy Gators rallied after giving up a game-tying goal late in overtime and missing two of their first three penalty kicks in a shootout, to beat Cleveland Central 3-2 on Friday night.

Vicksburg (5-10-1, 2-1 MHSAA Region 3-5A) played its fourth game in as many days, and won three of them. This one was scoreless at halftime, then got a little wild after that.

Cleveland Central scored early in the second half, but Kennedy Mullins got the equalizer. The teams flipped that script in overtime, with Vicksburg’s Amari Johnson scoring midway through the second of two 10-minute periods and Cleveland Central scoring late to send it to the penalty kick shootout.

In the shootout, Mullins scored on the Missy Gators’ first kick but her teammates missed the next two. Cleveland Central converted its first two kicks and only needed to make one more to clinch the victory, but it never got there.

Mullins, who was also playing keeper, made a save against Cleveland’s Aniya Mitchell and the Warriors’ next two shots were both off the mark. That opened the door for the Missy Gators to mount a comeback, which they did.

Alysha Murrell scored on the fourth of Vicksburg’s five kicks to tie the shootout at 2-2, and then Jamiyah Gaines scooted her PK just under the keeper’s arm to give the Missy Gators a 3-2 lead.

Cleveland keeper Ashton Orr took her team’s last penalty kick and pushed it wide left, giving Vicksburg the win and a leg up in the Region 3-5A race.