PRC boys and girls soccer team come out on top against Picayune on Friday night

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2017

PICAYUNE — Pearl River Central High School boys’ soccer team earned its first district victory of the season by defeating the Maroon Tide Friday night.

Three goals in 11 minutes in the first half proved to be the deciding factor for the Blue Devils, who earned a 3-0 victory against Picayune Memorial High School.

“Overall, they showed determination, effort and they played hard during the entire game,” Pearl River Central Head Coach Joe Weems said Friday. From the first minute of the game, PRC quickly pressured the Maroon Tide on its own end of the field, which led to four corner kicks in five minutes.

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After seven minutes of play, a corner kick by Will Rogers resulted in the first goal of the game after Samuel Lambert, who found himself alone inside the 18-yard box, head butted the ball past Picayune’s goalie Cody Butler.

The Blue Devils (7-4-1, 1-1 Region 7-5A) maintained its momentum and eight minutes later was rewarded with its second goal of the night. PRC’s Baylee Ratliff shot the ball towards the goal off a 25-yard free kick but the ball bounced off the top post.

Luckily for the Blue Devils, Lambert found himself alone in the 18-yard box again and head butted the ball past Butler, which put PRC up by two goals in just the 15th minute of the game.

Three minutes later, Butler came out of his goalie box to end Kyle Van Marcke’s attacking threat but failed to maintain control of the ball, which Van Marcke took advantage of and passed it to teammate Blaze Giovengo, who scored his first goal of the game after he found himself in front of the goal with no one around him.

With a 3-0 lead in the first 18 minutes of the game, the Blue Devils hoped to extend their lead before the end of the first half but the ball sailed just wide of the goal on numerous scoring attempts.

During the rest of the second half, both teams came up short of scoring a goal, in large part to each team’s goalkeeper Butler and Cole Benoit.

“During the holiday break we need to improve on little things, but I’m proud of how they played tonight,” Weems said. “This is our first time sweeping Picayune in recent years, so it’s been a good night. We only have four district games left in the schedule and we need to perform our best in every single one of them.”

The Blue Devils will return to action on Jan. 5 when the team visits D’Iberville High School while the Maroon Tide will travel to Laurel High School on Jan. 2.

—Lady Devils 2, Lady Maroon Tide 0: Two goals from Jade Shaw led the Blue Devils (1-8, 1-1 Region 7-5A) to its first victory of the season. Shaw finished the game with three shots and Samantha Kennedy had one. Goalkeeper Kylie Guerra had five saves and finished with a clean sheet.

“I am so proud of them, tonight was a big step for them. Not only did they win but they also played well,” Weems said.