Playoffs over for soccer teams

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BRANDON — The Natchez High Bulldogs had to quickly forget about last Saturday’s loss to Terry and get ready for an even tougher team in the first round of the Class 5A South State Playoffs – the Brandon Bulldogs.

And Division 6-5A runner-up Natchez High didn’t have much time to practice for its first-round road game against a Brandon team that not only was the division champion in Division 5-5A, but also has been runner-ups in Class 5A the last two seasons.

And while this Brandon team may not have had the team it’s had the last couple of seasons, the Bulldogs played well enough to knock Natchez High out of the playoffs with a 4-1 win.

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“They were a good bunch of guys. Everyone was friendly with each other,” Natchez High head coach Dennis Hogue said. “It was hard-fought. It was horrible conditions. It was wet, sloppy and slippery. It was a fun match.”

Brandon scored its first goal during stoppage time at the end of the first half to take a 1-0 lead. After the host Bulldogs scored at the 15th minute of the second half, Natchez High (11-5-1) cut the lead in half on a goal by Ross Smith in the 20th minute. That was his 40th goal of the season.

Then in the 32nd minute, Brandon scored a controversial goal.

Hogue said that one of the Brandon players got ahead of everyone else and was offsides. He then allegedly pushed Natchez High goalkeeper George Bates out of the way and should have called for obstruction, according to Hogue. However, the referee did not call anything and the goal stood. Five minutes later, Brandon scored again to finish the scoring.

“George Bates played out of his mind,” Hogue said. “Paul Belton, another rookie, played real well.”

Our Lady Academy girls 9, Cathedral 0

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — The Lady Green Wave, runner-ups in Division 7-1A/2A/3A, saw their season come to an end as they were defeated by the defending Class 1A/2A/3A state and Division 8 champion Lady Crescents Tuesday night.

“It was a tough game. They came out running and kept going the whole time,” Lady Green Wave head coach David Gaudé said. “They’ve got a good team. I’d be interested in how far they go.”

Gaudé added that his team played hard against one of the best teams in the state, but couldn’t get much of anything going offensively. The Lady Green Wave finished the season with a 9-5 overall record.

“We played a hard game. We’ve got five seniors on our team. It was an emotional evening for them knowing this was their last game,” Gaudé said. “We just got outplayed tonight.”

St. Patrick boys 3, Cathedral 0

BILOXI — Before the 2007-2008 school year started, Mercy Cross and St. John consolidated to become St. Patrick High School. Now the Irish’s varsity boys soccer team is moving on to the second round of the Class 1A/2A/3A South State Playoffs.

The Division 8 champion Irish scored two goals in the second half en route to a 3-0 win over the Division 7 runner-up Cathedral Green Wave in a first-round game Tuesday night.

“They have a turf field, which we have never played on,” Green Wave assistant head coach Paul Burns said. “We couldn’t get that goose egg off the board. We had some opportunities. Our guys battled hard. They never gave up. This was the last game for Jesse Morrison and Greg Mocklin. They both did a very good job for us. It’s a tough way for them to go out.”

St. Patrick scored in the 35th minute of the first half off a set play on a corner kick to make it a 1-0 game at halftime. After Cathedral (8-9) made a change at halftime, moving Harrison Burns up to midfield to sweeper, the Irish countered by scoring their second goal just a few minutes into the second half.

Then about midway through the second half, Aaron Sandifer was put in at goalkeeper and Morrison was moved to the midfield. Even though the Green Wave played better during that stretch, they couldn’t put the ball in the goal. St. Patrick scored its final goal from about the 18-yard line with about 15 minutes remaining.

“Our guys battled hard. They never gave up,” Burns said.