Eyes on the prize
A LEG UP n Meridian High's Ramey Rush (28) leads her teammates into the second round of the MHSAA state soccer playoffs Tuesday when both MHS teams travel to Brandon. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Feb. 5, 2001
Five of the seven area soccer teams that qualified for the Mississippi High School Activities Association's state playoffs survived the opening round with wins that leave them just one victory short of this weekend's state semifinals
Second-round games are slated for Tuesday.
In Class 5A, the Meridian Wildcats beat Harrison Central's Red Rebels 4-3 Friday night at Ray Stadium. The Wildcats, 10-13-1, face Brandon Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Brandon.
Leslie Rush scored two goals to lead the Wildcats past Harrison.
Brandon improved to 18-5 with a 4-0 shutout of Pascagoula on Saturday.
The Meridian Lady Wildcats will also go to Brandon Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. game. The Meridian girls defeated Gulfport 1-0 Saturday afternoon on a goal by Ramey Rush to improve to 16-3.
Brandon, 13-5-3, shut out Pascagoula 4-0 on Saturday with four different players scoring goals.
In Class 4A, the Northeast Lauderdale Trojans head to Oak Grove on Tuesday. The starting time for that game has been set for 7 p.m.
The Trojans, 11-4, ousted George County 2-0 on Saturday with Kyle Stoddard getting both goals.
Oak Grove, 16-4-1, defeated Brookhaven 1-0 on a goal by Alex Conerly in the final minute of play at Brookhaven.
The Lady Trojans of Northeast will host Pearl Tuesday after ripping Hernando 8-0 in the first round Saturday. Danielle Smith led Northeast, 9-2, with five goals.
Pearl, 6-12-2, pinned a 7-0 whipping on West Point Saturday with Anna Moore scoring three goals and Jenny Farris adding two. The Lady Pirates ended the Lady Trojans' season last year.
Tuesday's game begins at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the defending Class 1A-2A-3A state champion Knights of West Lauderdale opened defense of their crown with a 4-1 win over W.P. Daniel of New Albany Saturday at Collinsville.
Next up for the ninth-ranked Knights, 14-0-2, is Greenville St. Joseph Tuesday, a rematch of last year's state semifinals that is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
St. Joe's Fighting Irish, 10-6-1, defeated Caledonia 5-0 in first-round action behind three goals from Trey Towles.
Two area teams were eliminated in the first round.
The Philadelphia Tornadoes, runnerup of Division 4 in 1A-2A-3A, fell 4-1 at Corinth on Saturday with Alan Trapp and Christian Albaracin both having two goals for the Warriors, 17-2.
The Clarkdale Lady Bulldogs, runnerup of Division 3 in 1A-2A-3A, lost 9-0 to defending state champion Our Lady Academy at Brother Philip Stadium in Bay St. Louis Saturday.
Clarkdale was unable to cross midfield for the game's first 15 minutes as the second-ranked and high-powered Lady Crescents took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
Rachel Cranford and Emily Meyers both had two goals for OLA, 23-1-1.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.