The Lady Cats dominated a good Princeton team Friday night at Gerald Prim Stadium taking a 4-0 win, clinching a playoff berth according soccer coach Joel Bailey.
“We played with a purpose tonight,” Bailey said with a contented smile following the game. “I told the girls before we started playing this game with Princeton how important it was, and we played like it. We sealed the deal.” The coach said that Sulphur Springs will get a first round bye in the playoffs with their first postseason game either March 23 or 24.
Against Princeton the two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half. Sulphur Springs had several scoring chances, but could not find the net.
The second half was a different story for the Lady Cats as they pumped in four goals, two coming by Kaci Crowson.
Crowson’s two goals came in rapidfire order, one on a boot at the 33:57 mark and the second on a crossing play with 30:57 left to pad the lead to 2-0.
Sulphur Springs also had stellar defense with Macy Hurley posting a shutout with several standout saves.
The third goal came from an assist by Diana Sanchez to Abby Grand-Lienard with 12:45 left.
Both teams had to get the official game clock stopped for injuries in the rough contest. Sulphur Springs defensive specialist Melissa Phillips was shaken up, but did return to action.
The final goal came when the game was already decided. Juana Perez hit the net with a short range kick on a scoring attack to make it a 4-0 game.
After the goal, Perez turned with a wide smile to her teammates with her arms reached skyward celebrating the kick.
The Princeton Lady Panthers were unable to score all night, getting shutout by Sulphur Springs, 4-0.
“We had a big second half, but that is what we have done all year. We seem to get more focused and get after it in the second half,” Bailey said.”We’re just a second half team. We had great defense from Hurley, Phillips and Kelsey Cullins.”
The coach continued, “We have six points in the district race, North Lamar and Greenville are tied with 12. We really need to win out.”
The Lady Cats will close out the regular season at home against Paris Monday night. Two games are slated with the junior varsity beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.
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