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From Staff Reports
Soccer fans could not have asked for a more exciting region opener at GCHS Monday night as the Wildcats and Lady Cats split two nail-biters with visitng Vancleave.
In men’s action, the Wildcats fell behind 0-1 after the first 40 minutes, but battled back with two second half goals to claim a 2-1 victory.
Senior Daniel Zehner led the way with a goal and an assist for GCHS. Zehner’s assist to junior co-captain Gregory Pierce provided the game-tying goal. Then junior forward Logan McCalip had an assist to Zehner for the game-winner.
Freshman goal keeper Jerry Franks had five saves in the win.
The Wildcats improved to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in region play with the win, which sets up a battle for first place in the region when Poplarville (6-2-2 overall and 1-0 in region) visits on Friday.
In women’s action, junior Chloe Stickland converted a corner kick from Laykin Beech for a goal to tie the match with Vancleave at 1-1 just before halftime. Senior Jamya Moody put the Lady Cats ahead 2-1 nine minutes into the second half with a goal off an error by the Lady Bulldogs’ goalie. Vancleave scored on a header just a few minutes later to tie the game. The game remained tied at 2-2 through regulation and two 10 minute periods of overtime. From there the match went to penalty kicks where the Vancleave goal keeper redeemed her earlier mistake with three saves to keep GCHS off the board in the shootout. Vancleave converted three Wildcat penalty shots to win.
“The girls fought really hard,” Coach Janna Sullivan Maxwell said. “We had several opportunities to put the game away in the second half of regular time, yet I was really proud of how the girls worked together as a team and battled back when we were down.”
The Lady Cats have a great opportunity to get back on track when Poplarville visits on Friday. The Lady Hornets are 5-1-3 overall, but 1-0 in the region after a lopsided win over Forrest Co. AHS.