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Prep soccer teams gear up for first round of playoffs

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Feb. 2, 2001
Seven area soccer teams will be taking part in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association's state playoffs this weekend.
The Meridian Wildcats get things under way on Friday night when they host Harrison Central's Red Rebels at 7:30. Meridian is the Division 5-5A champion, while Harrison Central is the Division 8-5A runner-up.
The Meridian Lady Wildcats will host Gulfport Saturday at 1 p.m. The 15-2 Lady Wildcats are the 5-5A champions, while the Lady Admirals are the 8-5A runner-up.
The senior trio of Ramey Rush, Erin Brown and Deanna Harris head Meridian's balanced attack. Rush leads the way with 20 goals through Jan. 28 games, while Brown has 14 and Harris 10.
Northeast Lauderdale will host a pair of Class 4A playoff games on Saturday. The Lady Trojans, 4-4A champions, will take on Division 1-4A runner-up Hernando at 11 a.m. The 5-4A champion Trojans will host 8-4A runner-up George County at 2 p.m.
Due to more boys' than girls' teams, the Trojans play in the South State, while the Lady Trojans compete in the North State.
In Collinsville, the Division 4-1A-2A-3A champion West Lauderdale Knights will play host to Division 1 runner-up W.P. Daniel of New Albany Saturday at noon. The ninth-ranked Knights entered the week with a 12-0-2 mark, and are the defending state champions.
The Philadelphia Tornadoes, runner-up of Division 4-1A-2A-3A after beating Newton County 5-3 last week, travel to Corinth to take on the Division 1 champion Warriors at 2 p.m. The Tornadoes were 8-3 heading into Thursday's scheduled game with West Point at Philadelphia. Corinth was 7-1 as of Monday, losing only to top-ranked Tupelo.
The Clarkdale Lady Bulldogs qualified as runner-up of Division 3-1A-2A-3A. Clarkdale will travel to Bay St. Louis to take on Our Lady Academy on Saturday. Game time will be determined following St. Stanislaus' game Thursday as both OLA and St. Stanislaus share the same facility.
The second-ranked Crescents of OLA were 21-1-1 following a 9-0 blanking of St. Martin and a 4-0 shutout of Resurrection. Emily Myers leads OLA with 23 goals while Rachel Cranford has 12.
Clarkdale finished second to Forrest County AHS in division play, and the Lady Bulldogs are fresh off a 4-0 win over Wayne County.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sports@themeridianstar.com.

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