Lady Cats ride two game winning streak into state playoffs

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

By Chip Arial

Special to The Post-Searchlight

The Bainbridge High School varsity girls’ soccer team completed their regular season, by splitting four contests and gaining a two game winning streak heading into state play Wednesday night.

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Bainbridge (10-7, 7-3 region) rebounded from a pair of region setbacks, in Sylvester to Worth County 5-0 and to Thomas County 7-0, before winning their final two contests over Americus-Sumter 4-1and Brooks County 2-0, with the last three contests being at Centennial field.

Bainbridge struggled to contain the offensive output by the region’s top two teams, in the Worth County Lady Rams and eventual champion Thomas County Yellow Jackets, but despite the losses, gave valiant efforts.

In Thursday’s game, the Lady Bearcats scored four first half goals to propel Bainbridge to a 4-1 region victory over the Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers, on senior night at Centennial field.

The Lady Bearcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead, as senior Bainbridge defender Tianna Miller sent a long pass to sophomore forward Paige Stegall, who scored on a breakaway from six-yards out in the 13th minute.

Bainbridge scored again, in the 23rd minute, to increase their lead a 2-0, as junior midfielder Haley Thompson received a pass from teammate junior Elizabeth Brinson, and then beat the Americus-Sumter defense shooting and scoring a goal from seven yards out.

The Lady Bearcats increased their lead to 3-0, following a well-executed corner kick play in the 26th minute.

Brinson picked up her second assist in the contest as she lofted a well-placed corner kick to teammate junior Mallory West, who alertly headed in a shot from eight yards out.

On Bainbridge’s final goal of the half, and game, which came in the 33rd minute, Bainbridge freshman Mabry Briggs received a pass from Thompson on the right side, and scored from five yards away.

Thompson had received a throw in the Lady Panther penalty area, from teammate sophomore Kamerin Timmons,, dribbled into the center and sent a controlled pass to the right side in front of Briggs run to set up the score.

The Lady Panthers scored in the 45th minute of the second half for their lone goal of the contest.

Senior Derrical Williams, along with sophomores Mary Mercer Reynolds and Timmons split time at goalkeeper, to help in the win. Reynolds finished a scoreless first half with three saves.

In the final regular season game on Friday, Bainbridge scored two goals late in the contest to defeat the Brooks County Lady Trojans, 2-0

Junior Elizabeth Brinson scored after receiving a pass on a long free kick, in the 72nd minute, to give Bainbridge a 1-0 lead.

Bainbridge junior Summer Boyd was fouled and was given a direct free kick forty yards from the goal, she then preceded to send a long ground pass into the center of the Lady Trojan penalty area, whereas Brinson quickly controlled the ball, turned and shot, scoring from eight yards out.

Four minutes later the pair hooked up again for a goal, but this time in reverse fashion to close out the scoring on the night. Brinson, who controlled the ball at midfield, dribbled the ball through several defenders, and then sent a pass to Boyd, who turned, took a touch of the ball and then sent a well hit shot just inside the right post of the goal scoring from 23-yards out.

Goalkeeper Grace McIntosh was credited with the shutout, for the Lady Bearcats, and responded with four saves on the night.

For the second consecutive year the Lady Bearcats have made the state AAAA playoffs, and travel to Zebulan to battle the host Pike County Lady Pirates, in the first round.

The Lady Pirates are 18-1 on the season and finished first in region 4-AAAA with a perfect 11-0 region record.

Last season Bainbridge lost in the first round of the state playoffs to Veterans High who advanced to the elite eight. Pike County was elimanted in the second round by eventual state champion St. Pius.