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Lady Cats make post season history in a 3-0 shutout

The Bainbridge High School Lady Cat varsity soccer team made a historic moment, by defeating Spalding High School 3-0 at Centennial field, in the first round of the GHSA class AAAA state playoffs.

This accomplishment has been one 24 years in the making, according to head coach Chip Ariail.

“We have made it to the post season games 8 times in our history of the program, but this is the first time we’ve ever won,” Ariail said.

This was one of the main goals of this year’s Lady Cats team.

“We’ve met several different goals that we established early on in the year,” Ariail said.

And, Thursday’s game was no different.

Early in the contest Bainbridge was awarded an early penalty kick attempt, following a hand ball infraction by a Spalding defender.

Lady Cat Freshman midfielder Brenna Conley calmly struck the ball, tucking it into the right corner of the Jaguar goal, to give Bainbridge a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the contest.

Two minutes before halftime the Lady Cats scored their second goal, as Junior midfielder Aubrey Hill scored to increase the lead.

On the play Junior midfielder Evelyn Mach lifted a ball downfield to Hill, who was then able to chip a shot over the Lady Jaguar Goalkeeper from 17 yards out for the score.

Bainbridge’s final goal came in the 63rd minute as Mach intercepted a failed Spalding clearance pass and turned and scored from the top of the Lady Jaguar penalty area.

Bainbridge, whose record is now at 10-4, outshot Spalding 13-1 as Bainbridge goalkeepers Ashanta Peterson and Keilaya Pryor preserved the shutout.

Peterson registered one save.

Senior center back Emma Briggs, Juniors center back Abby Surratt, right back Mallory Inlow, and Sophomore Kay Lee Lopez limited the Lady Jaguar attack.

Sophomore midfielder Brennyn Timmons, Senior Jennifer Pascual, and Conley all gave tough inspired play.

Junior Forward Nathaly Rodriguez played well on the attack with Mach, and Hill.

The Lady Cats were not the only ones excited about the win.

There to support them was Art teacher, Rebecca Cole, who played on the first Lady Cats soccer team.

“I’m so proud of how far we have come,” Cole said. “We went from a team who had absolutely no idea what we were doing to a team in the playoffs, but I’m mostly proud for Coach Ariail.”

Cole has full faith in the team and believes they will take state this year.

“They’re going to go all the way,” she said excitedly.

Cole has been sharing video updates with other former players on the first team and invited them to come watch these historic games. She hopes this will be the year Ariail sees all the fruits of his labor pay off.

The Lady Cats will now advance to take on Islands High School in Savannah, for the second round on Wednesday. The game time is set for 5pm at the Islands campus.