Pearl River celebrates sophomore day with important win
Published 11:02 pm Sunday, October 24, 2021
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River women’s soccer team celebrated sophomore day by picking up a big 3-0 win over Copiah-Lincoln. The victory was crucial in the Wildcats’ pursuit of post season play, pushing them into second place in the MACCC South.
The win sets up an important matchup with archrival Gulf Coast on Tuesday.
“I thought we struggled in the first half to get into the flow of things, but I think we settled down in the second half,” Pearl River coach Henrik Madsen said. “It’s a massive win to keep us in the playoff hunt. The mindset heading into Tuesday is to get a win. You can’t go in there and hope for a certain result or something to fall your way. It’s a rivalry game so it’s always going to be tight and exciting.”
It felt like Pearl River (7-5-1 overall; 5-3-1 MACCC South) was on the brink of busting the game open throughout the entirety of the first half.
The early chances came through a flurry of chance creations off the foot of Beanna Stansberry (Lucedale; George County).
In the 14th minute, Stansberry stepped up and blasted a shot from 20 yards out that the Copiah-Lincoln (3-11-1; 0-8-1) keeper jumped to save.
Just two minutes later, Stansberry dribbled into the box before passing out to Kaylee Vincent (Gulfport) who booted a long shot that curved towards the net, but the keeper again stepped in front and made the save.
Stansberry took another shot in the 19th minute, but it sailed wide of the goal.
The Wolves had a chance to take the lead in the 28th minute of the game, but the CLCC forward blasted her one-on-one shot wide left of the net.
The Wildcats built a good attack in the 31st minute as Abigail Phillips (Darlington, England.; Longfield Academy) tried to find Ally Davis (Hattiesburg) with a through ball, but Davis couldn’t track it down resulting in a goal kick for CLCC.
The 36th minute saw Bailey Davis (Gulfport) drive up the field from the right back position and cross a ball into the box where Davis was standing. The Wildcat winger tried to smash it home on the volley, but the shot went too high.
Despite numerous chances, Pearl River entered the break in a scoreless tie.
Immediately out of the half in the 52nd minute, Emma Godfrey (Pascagoula; Resurrection Catholic) had a chance to score but her shot deflected off the CLCC keeper and out of bounds for a corner kick.
The corner kick proved to be just what the Wildcats needed as Aubrie Edwards (Biloxi) passed a ball to Jessica Harrison (Gulfport; St. Patrick) who stood just outside of the box. Harrison took one step to her left and hammered a ball into the top left corner for the lead.
The Wolves almost tied the game up in the 67th minute, but Aníta Guðmundsdóttir ran to her right and stuck her leg out to make the save.
It was until the 87th minute that the Wildcats were able to double their advantage.
Lucy Conway (Portsmouth, England) was fed a pass outside of the box. The attacking midfielder dribbled up two steps and unleashed a laser of a shot to the upper right corner for a goal.
“I’m glad to see that Lucy finally showed up and scored a screamer,” Madsen said. “That was some goal from outside the 18-yard box there.”
Pearl River added its last goal of the night in the 89th minute when Phillips took a shot from 19 yards out that arced over the head of the keeper and into the right side of the net.
Madsen credited the play of his defenders after the game.
“I thought it was a really good performance from the back four. I think that everyone that we put in back there tonight did really well,” he said.
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday in a pivotal MACCC South Division game against archrival Gulf Coast. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.