Lady Bulldogs knocked from playoffs

Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For most of the first half, the Pascagoula Lady Panthers kept the ball on Natchez High’s side of the field, only to come up empty-handed.

Most of that had to do with the outstanding play of Lady Bulldogs goalkeeper Triyonna Green while some had to do with missed opportunities.

But two goals by junior Jantzen Oliver, including the go-ahead goal at the 36th minute, allowed the Lady Panthers to defeat the Lady Bulldogs 4-0 Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 5A South State Playoffs.

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“I was getting frustrated. We were getting frustrated,” Oliver said.

Fellow Lady Panthers junior Katie Alderman, who was denied a goal on a breakaway by Green, agreed. “I think we played well. We had a lot of shots on goal. Haley Sanders had the shutout.”

Of course it helped Sanders, Pascagoula’s goalkeeper, that Natchez High didn’t have many opportunities because of how aggressive its offense was throughout the game. In fact, the Lady Bulldogs had just one shot on goal and that wasn’t until early in the second half.

Green, on the other hand was busy doing her best from keeping the Lady Panthers from scoring. At one point in the game she had 24 saves in 24 minutes.

“She’s the best goalie in the state,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Lena Yarbrough said. “She’s just exceptional. She was the MVP of this game tonight.”

Had it not been for Green, Pascagoula (11-10) could have easily had a double-digit lead at halftime.

“We had more shots on goal than we had all season,” Lady Panthers head coach Tammy Baker said. “ I’m glad we won. Their goalie played a great game. We had over 40 shots on goal and only four went it.”

Three minutes after Oliver scored, Jeana Gilbert scored when her shot went through Green’s fingertips and into the net to give Pascagoula a 2-0 lead at halftime.

“I don’t feel like the team hustled like it could have in the first half,” Yarbrough said. “They didn’t challenge their offense as hard as they could have.”

Natchez High, the Division 6-5A champion, played more aggressively on offense in the second half, but had the one shot on goal to show for it and that was at the 3rd minute.

“They played hard. I’m real proud of my girls,” Yarbrough said. “We didn’t have fresh legs. We didn’t have any subs. This was the best passing team we played all season. I had great defense and an exceptional goalie.”

At the midway point of the second half, Oliver scored her second goal of the game to give Pascagoula, the Division 7-5A runner-up, a commanding 3-0 lead. Allison Coon scored with less than five minutes left with an assist from Miller on a corner kick.

“It was my first goal of the season,” said Coon, a sophomore. “Perfect placement by Jamie Lynn Miller. I didn’t know it went in until one of my teammates told me.”

Pascagoula will take on Brandon at home in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday.

Cathedral boys 3, Greene County 2

NATCHEZ — Taylor Brantley scored two goals, including the game-winner late in the second five-minute overtime, to give Cathedral a 3-2 win over the Greene County Tuesday night in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A South State Playoffs.

“We played real well in the first half. We were passing the ball well and doing the things we have been doing,” Green Wave head coach Rick Freeman said. “The second half, they had us on our heels. We managed to hold them off and win it in overtime. I think the fans got their money’s worth.”

Indeed they did as the Green Wave jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half and then almost let it slip away.

Eric Hollowell scored in the 17th minute of the first half to give Cathedral a 1-0 lead.

“It was a nice shot on goal. He was in front of the goal when he got the ball,” Freeman said.

Brantley then scored at the 36th minute on a crossing pass from John O’Beirne and it appeared that the Green Wave had the momentum on its side to go along with the home-field advantage.

But the game swung back towards the Rebels as they scored immediately. Cory Cooley scored on a breakaway at the 37th minute and just like that the Green Wave’s lead at halftime was just 2-1.

“It did take a little wind out of us,” Freeman said of Cooley’s goal. “They had some good speed up front and it made the defense get tentative. They kept us backed up. I don’t know what happened to us in the second half.”

Jacob McGraw scored at the 62nd minute of the second half to tie the game at 2-2, which was the score at the end of regulation.

The score remained 2-2 through two 10-minute overtimes and into sudden-death overtime. After neither team scored in the first five-minute overtime, Brantley won it for Cathedral with one minute left in the second five-minute overtime when got the ball on a breakaway and shot from about eight yards out.

“Jesse Morrison, our goalkeeper, had a monstrous night. He made seven great saves,” Freeman said.

Cathedral (11-6-1), the Division 7-1A/2A/3A champion, will hit the road to the Gulf Coast and take on Mercy Cross in a second-round game Saturday at 3 p.m.

Pascagoula boys 5, Natchez High 0

NATCHEZ — Just like the Lady Bulldogs earlier in the night, the Bulldogs’ season came to an end with a shutout loss to the Panthers. No information was available on who scored for Pascagoula.

Pascagoula, the Division 7-5A runner-up, went up 3-0 at halftime on the Division 6-5A champion Bulldogs, and scored two more goals in the second half.

“We played them well. We played them hard,” Bulldogs head coach Dennis Hogue said. “They pretty much had control of the game. Everyone on their team had good ball skills. They passed the ball well. They worked the angles on the give-and-go.”

Hogue noted that the score could have been even worse had it not been for the defense, especially Taylor Davis, Josh Smith and Dustin Adams, as well as the effort of goalkeeper Jeremy Buckles, who had more than a dozen saves.

“We didn’t get many opportunities,” Hogue said. “We had a few shots on goal. We had a great season. We had a lot of fun. We’ll be back next year.”

Natchez High finished the season with a 7-8 record.