Pearl edges Lady Vikes in overtime shootout

Published 10:36 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

A close loss means Warren Central will have to travel far in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A girls soccer playoffs.

Pearl squeezed past Warren Central in an overtime shootout Friday, 2-1, in a match-up to determine second place in Region 5-6A.

Pearl (6-6-3, 3-2 Region 5-6A) earned the right to stay at home in the first round on Jan. 24, while Warren Central (5-10, 2-3) will head to the Coast to play St. Martin, the second-place team from Region 7-6A.

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Northwest Rankin has already clinched the Region 5-6A championship. It will host Warren Central on Tuesday in the Lady Vikes’ final region game.

The Lady Vikes will try to use that game to build momentum for the postseason and bounce back from this tough loss.

Pearl scored its goal in regulation in the 30th minute of the first half, when Frankie Lockley boomed a free kick from midfield over the defense and to a streaking Makylah Sales. The ball traveled nearly 40 yards to Sales and landed right on her foot in mid-stride as she split two defenders 20 yards from the goal. Sales converted the breakaway chance for a 1-0 lead.

Warren Central tied it late in regulation. Jordan Polk sent a cross from the right sideline to Addi Keller, who tried to chip it over the keeper. The keeper made the save, but the ball popped high in the air and landed behind her. Melissa Herrle was there to tap it into the net for a 1-1 tie with about eight minutes remaining.

The score remained tied through two 10-minute overtime periods. Pearl then prevailed 4-3 in the penalty kick shootout.