Lady Cats face must-win match against Mount Pleasant after loss to N L

From Staff Reports

March 3, 2008 - PARIS - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats couldn't parlay a second-half goal into a victory over district-leading North Lamar on Saturday, so they now face a must-win soccer match against Mount Pleasant this week.

The Lady Cats are sitting in fourth place in District 16-4A after Saturday's 2-1 loss to North Lamar. Sulphur Springs was scheduled to host third-place Mount Pleasant tonight, but the match has been changed due to weather.

The match will either be played this evening at Mount Pleasant's Sam Parker Field, which has a Field Turf surface, or will be rescheduled for later in the week.

The Lady Cats (2-4-1-0 in district, eight points) must beat Mount Pleasant (4-2-0-1, 13 points) and then hope that the Lady Tigers also lose at least one of their final two games.

After playing a scoreless first half against North Lamar (6-0-0-1) on Saturday, the Lady Cats took a 1-0 lead with about 29 minutes left in the match when junior striker Bonnie Grafton, standing near the top of the 18-yard box, punched a goal over the head of the NL keeper.

But, North Lamar put in the equalizer with 15 minutes to go, then took the lead with five minutes remaining.

"It was a really tough, physical game, like we knew it was going to be," said SSHS head coach Martin Bryant. "They did a great job of crashing the goal and getting players in the box. Neither of their goals were cleanbreak-aways. It was off the post or off one of ours where it's a ricochet shot and someone picks up the trash and puts it in.

"I give North Lamar the credit because it seemed like the last 10 minutes they went to another level and outplayed us, and that's why they're in first place right now."

Bryant also praised the play of his keeper, sophomore Macy Hurley, who maintained a first-half shutout despite the Pantherettes playing with the wind to their backs.

"I thought we did a good job of getting out of the first half without giving a goal up. Macy Hurley did a great job in the first half. She made some great saves and cleared a couple of balls off the line on corner kicks," he said.

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