Hall’s header hands Warren Central a win over Vicksburg

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023

When they were a step out of sync and nothing seemed to connect, the Warren Central Lady Vikes just followed the bouncing ball to victory.

Gloria Hall headed in a shot off a high bounce in the 67th minute for the game’s only goal, and Warren Central beat Vicksburg High 1-0 Tuesday in the MHSAA Region 2-6A girls’ soccer opener for both teams.

Warren Central (6-3, 1-0 Region 2-6A) beat Vicksburg (2-5, 0-1) for the 11th consecutive time since 2015. This was the second time in three meeting that the Lady Vikes have won by one goal.

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“The Gators fought real hard,” Warren Central coach Jeremy Lawrence said. “They’ve got a good, stout defensive mindset and, truthfully, we played to their strength. We tried to play them with speed and we made some adjustments the second half to work that out and at least we got one.”

The one came late in the second half. Warren Central played the ball toward the box and it took one high bounce and then another. Hall timed the second bounce perfectly and headed it past Vicksburg keeper Lili Kistler to finally break a scoreless tie.

“I kind of just saw it and I went for it, and it went in. I got it with part of my nose,” Hall said with a laugh. “It was a slow bounce. I felt like I was going in slow motion at one point. But I just went for it and it went in.”

The goal ended a long night of offensive frustration for Warren Central. It largely controlled the game, but had a hard time generating quality scoring opportunities. A number of chances were thwarted when a pass was a couple of yards too far or defenders caught up to the play when a Lady Vike tried to make one extra move.

Warren Central outshot Vicksburg 14-1.

“Every once in a while you get those games where everything plays out in your favor — you’ve got the majority of possession, you’ve got the majority of chances — and you just don’t put them away. Thankfully we got one in,” Lawrence said.

Vicksburg coach Maurice Gilliam said he was proud of his team’s effort. The Missy Gators’ only sustained offensive pressure came late in the first half and its lone shot was on a free kick by Amari Johnson. WC keeper Hayleigh Simmons made an easy save.

The Missy Gators’ defense hung tough, though. It broke up a number of chances and Kistler made eight saves to keep it close until the end.

“Those girls stepped up and accepted the challenge,” Gilliam said. “The score doesn’t reflect how the girls played. They played hard, and sooner or later somebody was going to win the game. It was just a lucky bounce on a header and they got it.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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