Pearl River gets back to winning ways against Southwest

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, October 16, 2021

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River women’s soccer team got back in the win column Friday as it easily put away Southwest, 3-0.

“I thought we responded really well tonight,” coach Henrik Madsen said. “We challenged them a little bit in practice on working harder, pressing harder and working for each other. I really thought everyone worked really hard tonight.”

Pearl River (5-5-1 overall; 3-3-1 MACCC South) looked as if it had gotten on the board in the 12th minute.

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Sydney Salter (Vancleave) rushed to the box before quickly pushing a pass across to Lucy Conway (Portsmouth, England). Conway kicked it into the net, but it was ruled that Conway was offside.

Southwest (3-10; 0-7) nearly put a point on the board just moments later but the Bear forward booted her shot above the goal.

Late in the first half, a Bear midfielder smashed a ball from deep on goal, but Aníta Guðmundsdóttir (Kópavogur, Iceland.; Flensborg) plucked it out of the air for a save.

The Wildcats had a chance to break the scoreless tie in the 44th minute but were unable to capitalize. Lily Lentz (Gilbert, Ariz.; Dr. Camille Casteel) put a ball into the box on a free-kick, but Jessica Harrison (Gulfport; St. Patrick) could not track it down as it trickled out of bounds.

The Bears and Wildcats entered the break knotted up at one.

Immediately out of halftime, Pearl River pushed the ball upfield. Sydney Spataro (Long Beach) blasted a shot from just outside of the box, but it curved just high and wide.

It wasn’t until the 53rd minute that the Wildcats struck.

Alexis Cochran (Hurley; East Central) worked her way around a defender before making a short pass to the nearby Salter. Salter took a shot on her first touch, but the Bear goalkeeper save the shot. The ball deflected right back to the foot of Salter who put the second attempt into the net to go ahead 1-0.

“She was in the right spot,” Madsen said. “She’s got a nose for it and put it into the back of the net.”

Pearl River doubled its advantage in the 68th minute on a goal from Erin Clifford (Ocean Springs). Aubrie Edwards (Biloxi) passed a ball back to Clifford who took two steps forward and booted a ball from deep. The shot slashed through the air and went into the net in the top right corner of the net.

“That was a great strike from Erin. It was from 25 or 30 yards out,” Madsen said. “It was a nice floater away from the keeper. It was a very nice goal.”

The Wildcats got on the score sheet for the third time in the 88th minute. A wayward ball that looked as if it was going out of bounds was tracked down by Abigail Phillips (Darlington, England; Longfield Academy). The Wildcat forward turned and chipped a pass into the box where Harrison kicked it past the keeper on the volley.

The Wildcats closed out the game with a 3-0 victory.

The Wildcats return to the pitch Tuesday as they travel to Meridian. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.