Ashley May's teams have been to the state playoffs before.
The only problem is that she hasn't.
"Each time one of my team's gone to state, there's been a chance where I wasn't here," the Grovetown High School forward said. "I've been injured or other person reasons."
On Thursday night, May made the most of her opportunity.
Her aggressive play led to a first-half goal, and she capped off the scoring in the second half of the Lady Warriors' 2-0 victory over Worth County in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
It was the second-year program's first playoff victory after a first-round exit last season.
Twelve minutes into the contest, May capitalized on consistent pressure for Grovetown (11-7) up front.
Her cross found a waiting Kristi Sammons, who sent a shot past Worth County keeper Haley Ellis for an early lead.
The one-goal advantage stood until 10 minutes into the second half.
On a goal that Grovetown coach Greg Young lauded as great execution, Rachel Peloquin carried the ball down the left side. She waited just long enough for May to crash the net from the right, and Peloquin's perfect cross made for an easy finish by May.
"Our team came together," May said. "This is what we wanted, and we came and did it."
Defensively, Young said his game plan was to try to limit the scoring chances for Lady Rams standout Heather Ellis.
While she had several chances on free kicks that Grovetown keeper Emily Press snagged, Ellis couldn't get a quality opportunity in open play.
"One of the things we've been working on big time is interference," Young said.
With four defenders back, he said the idea is for one of his two younger backs to meet the offensive player first and for an experienced sweeper to hang back.
The strategy worked, as Marianne Davignon was able to spoil Worth County chances several times.
Grovetown preserved the shutout on a sequence of saves in the second half.
Press rushed out to make a point-blank save, but the ball came back in front of the net. As it neared the goal line, Mckayla Pittman cleared it away just in time.
Reach Justin Williams at (706) 868-1222, ext. 116, or email@example.com.