The Greenbrier Lady Wolfpack made sure they didn’t take the Evans Lady Knights for granted when they squared off in the Region 2-AAAAA soccer semifinal Monday night.
The Lady Knights had advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 upset of Northside (Warner Robins), but the No. 1-seed Lady Wolfpack ended their dreams of a region title and kept their own alive with a 3-1 win.
The Lady Wolfpack will play host to crosstown rival Lakeside at 5 p.m. Tuesday for the region championship.
Greenbrier (8-4-2) beat Evans twice during the regular season, including a 4-0 win on March 19 in which it controlled play the entire game.
It looked like it would be much the same as the Lady Wolfpack dominated the first half, taking a 3-0 lead, but the Lady Knights battled back in the second half and kept the pressure on.
While keeping the ball in the Lady Knights end, it took until the 11-minute mark for Greenbrier’s Elizabeth Hamilton to score the game’s first goal from 15 yards out.
With six minutes left in the half, Natalie Thompson scored from the middle on a corner kick and then Raven Rose was part of a four-on-one break and walked it in and fired the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for the 3-0 advantage with 1:05 left before the break.
“I think us having a 3-0 lead at half kind of made us come out down that second half,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick. “They beat us to everything in the second half, they were all over us.”
The Lady Knights (6-7) showed some spark in the second half.
On a Sierra Agee free kick from 30 yards out, the ball bounded off the hands of Lady Wolfpack goalie Madison Campbell and Heather Mullen was there for the rebound, cutting Greenbrier’s lead to 3-1 with just under eight minutes gone in the half.
The Lady Knights had a golden opportunity to tighten the game further with an indirect kick with 16 minutes to play. Stephanie Mixon’s ball didn’t touch anyone before going in the net, however, and the goal was disallowed.
Evans head coach Kevin Musick was impressed with the way his girls battled.
“We kind of hung our heads a little bit when they scored, but I believe we rebounded in the second half,” said Musick. “It’s a young team and I was very proud of them in the second half, though. I couldn’t ask for more effort in the second half.”