The gold Region 3-AAAA trophy still sits on the sidelines each game, waiting for the Lakeside girls soccer team to complete the win and hoist it once again for all the parent photographers sitting in the bleachers.
Lakeside freshman Susanne Rogers said she thinks the memento brings her team luck. Coach Stacie Schwamberger contends she keeps it around so she can trade it in for a state ring in a few weeks.
Judging from the way the Lady Panthers played Tuesday night at Panther Stadium, both of them might be on to something.
Rogers tallied a hat trick in 4 minutes and 32 seconds, Carty Dunn scored two goals, and Megan Shingler and Rebecca Bohler each added two assists as the top-seeded Lady Panthers easily side-stepped Shaw, 6-0, in the second round of the Georgia Class AAAA playoffs.
After the game, Lakeside (15-3), true to form, went bananas with the trophy it won three weeks ago.
"I saw it again today, and I was like, 'Yeah,"' Rogers said. "It has been giving us luck."
Maybe it did against the Lady Raiders, which didn't take a shot on Lakeside goalie Ansley Evans all game.
After Carty Dunn's 30-foot free kick midway through the first half found the back of net, Rogers went on her rampage. With 1:17 left in the first half, Shingler found Rogers wide open in the middle of the box, and the freshman connected from point-blank range.
Then Rogers got the Lady Panthers off to a fast start in the second half, taking another feed from Shingler and pushing it past Shaw goal keeper Beth Davis 2:19 into the second half.
Fifty-six seconds later, Rogers burned Davis again for her third goal.
"We just got pumped and really came together as a team," Rogers said. "I think it was the best game we've played all season. It was just a total team effort."
The Lady Panthers will need that effort to continue, considering they might have to play host to the winner of the Marist-Dalton game in Saturday's state quarterfinals. Marist is defending state champion.
"Saturday's game will be tough," Schwamberger said. "Yeah, we've got some confidence, but we definitely have a harder road ahead."
Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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