Coach Sam Cain and his Jacksonville Lady Eagles soccer team have to be wondering just what they have to do to beat Guntersville. For the fourth straight year the Lady Wildcats have eliminated the Lady Eagles in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. This year Guntersville beat Jacksonville 3-2 in overtime to end the Lady Eagles season.
Last year Jacksonville led 1-0 at the end of the half; Guntersville came back to score two in the second half to take the win.
This year it was even closer. Jacksonville once again led 1-0, scoring with one-minute left in the first half when Elizabeth Poe gave an assist to Cindee Tang for the goal.
In the second half Guntersville’s Anna Tully showed off some incredible speed as she broke away and found an open field. Tully took just the right angle to get the ball past Lady Eagle goalie Mattie Lowery for the score. It was the first goal Lowery had given up after 11 shutouts.
The score remained tied until with about seven minutes remaining Virginia Poe found the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.
The Lady Eagles were ecstatic as they had battled all game long and had kept Guntersville from scoring despite the fact that the Lady Wildcats constantly threatened.
Deep in the second half Guntersville scored again on a penalty kick by Mary Goodwin Tully and the scored was tied 2-2.
When time ran out in regulation the score was still tied and the two teams went into overtime. It took Guntersville no time at all to score the third, and winning goal as Anna Tully once again broke loose and sped down the field, spotted Anna Mikel Jones and made a beautiful cross field kick to Jones who put it in the net for the win.
“Speed got us at the end,” said Cain. “No. 3’s (Anna Tully) speed got behind us and she had a beautiful cross pass, that’s good soccer. We attacked, they counter attacked and the girls (Tully’s) speed going down the field was hard to stop.”
Cain was obviously proud of his team for the effort they had put in. From the start of the game to the whistle both teams were at full effort, both teams gave everything they had.
“This is the best team we’ve ever brought up here,” said Cain. “We’ve had some good players in the past but this is the best team we’ve ever had.”
David Barrows, coach of the Guntersville team, had nothing but compliments for Jacksonville. “I’m really impressed with Jacksonville and how much they’ve improved since we saw them in March. They were good and athletic then but they have really come a long way and are playing good soccer. I was completely impressed with that.”
Barrow went on to say that both teams played with determination, refused to give in or give up and had a lot of heart and character.
Earlier in the week in the second round of playoffs Jacksonville shutout Childersburg 8-0, allowing the Lady Eagles to advance to the quarterfinals against Guntersville.
Virginia Poe had a hat trick, and Cindee Tang, Elizabeth Poe, Abby Cockrell, Ashton Wells and Breanna Hosch all scored a goal.
With the loss to Guntersville Jacksonville says goodbye to seniors Jordan Terry, Breanna Hosch and Dora Lopez.