Cathedral girls, boys soccer gets split versus Franklin County
NATCHEZ — The shouts of jubilation resonating from the Cathedral High School varsity girls’ locker room told the story.
With one kick by center midfielder Maddy Christian with approximately seven minutes left in regulation, the Lady Green Wave took a 1-0 lead against district rival Franklin County High School Friday night.
From there on, Cathedral kept the Lady Bulldogs from taking any shots on goal, securing the win and marking one item off the season wish list. The Lady Green Wave players could only express their excitement by cheering very loudly after making it back to the locker room.
“This was our first goal for the season,” Cathedral head coach Kate Ellard said of beating Franklin County.
“They’re our rival, and every year they’re a really good team. It’s always our first goal to try and take Franklin County, because they are a fantastic team. We just all came out playing tonight and were focused.”
The news wasn’t all good for Cathedral, as Christian sustained a knee injury during the course of the game and had to be tended to by athletic trainers afterward. Christian was unavailable for comment, and Ellard said she didn’t know the extent of the injury.
Franklin County head coach Jeff Long said he felt like the Cathedral players simply wanted it more than his girls.
“We came out a little flat, and we couldn’t string together anything on offense,” Long said. “Cathedral deserves the credit for that. Offensively, they beat us to the ball. I think we can play better.”
Franklin County took seven shots on goal in the first half but only finished with nine on the night. Cathedral, meanwhile, tallied two shots on goal in the first half but had eight in the second half, including Christian’s game-winner.
From 30 yards out, Christian was able to sail the ball over the Franklin County defense for an uncontested goal, something Ellard said she’s used to seeing.
“Maddy usually has pretty good eyes for those shots,” Ellard said.
Lady Green Wave keeper Anna Margaret Foster got the shutout and said she was very relieved when Christian clinched the game for her team.
“The only thing I was thinking about was possibly going to PKs (penalty kicks), because that’s what happened last year,” Foster said.
“It felt great (when Christian scored). I cried my eyes out, to be honest. It’s just a great feeling to know that we won against our biggest rival.”
Cathedral rose to 3-2 on the season, 1-1 in region play, while Franklin County fell to 8-2-1 overall, 2-0 in the region.
Franklin County boys 4,
A dominating performance by the Bulldogs quickly turned ugly, as two Cathedral players received yellow cards and one got a red card and an ejection.
Green Wave head coach Dennis Hogue said Thomas Garrity was tossed after a foul, forcing Garrity to miss the next game under MHSAA rules.
“He and (the other) guy were going at it and playing very physical, and it got the best of him,” Hogue said. “The ref was spot-on correct giving him the red. There’s no place for that.”
Cathedral fans voiced their frustration as Grant Cunningham and Dale Matheney both got yellow cards in the second half to go along with Garrity’s red, Hogue said he wasn’t going to criticize the calls.
“I’ve refereed before, so I have a different perspective,” Hogue said. “I won’t blame them.”
Hoby Mullins tallied two goals for Franklin County in the first half, and Brendan Beach and Brice White each had one goal. Long, who also coaches the boys, said he was pleased with his team’s first-half effort.
“We had two early goals on some nice headers,” Long said. “We controlled the first half and played the way we wanted to play. The second half got too ugly. It wasn’t soccer at that point.”
Keeper Trey Bailey got the shutout for Franklin County.
“His squad was solid, with 11 good players,” Hogue said of the Bulldogs. “We came out flat, and they scored their first three goals on corner kicks. We were just being lazy. Clearly, our second half was better than the first half.”
Cathedral (3-3, 0-2) will host Brookhaven High School Tuesday, while Franklin County (11-0, 2-0) will play at Natchez High School Tuesday.