West boys, MHS girls go for state soccer gold

By By Marty Stamper and Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Feb. 9, 2001
The few. The proud. The two area soccer teams that have advanced to this weekend's Mississippi High School Activities Association's state soccer tournament.
That distinction belongs to the Knights of West Lauderdale and the Lady Wildcats of Meridian.
Defending Class 1A-2A-3A state champion West Lauderdale, 15-0-2, defeated W.P. Daniel of New Albany 4-1 and Greenville St. Joseph 3-1, both at Collinsville, in the first two rounds of competition.
Next up for the ninth-ranked Knights is Corinth, 18-2. The Warriors beat West Lauderdale's division rival Philadelphia 4-1 in the first round and followed that up with a 2-1 shootout victory over Senatobia. Allen Trapp had two goals in both playoff wins.
The Knights and Warriors meet in state semifinal action today at 6 p.m., at Newell Field in Jackson which is located near Murrah High School.
Completing the 1A-2A-3A Final Four are Mercy Cross of Biloxi and St. Aloysius of Vicksburg, who tangle at 4 p.m. today also at Newell Field.
Mercy Cross improved to 13-1-2 with a 10-0 second-round pasting of North Forrest with Paul Meneses' four goals leading the way. Donnie McFall tallied twice for the Crusaders, who won a state crown in 1999 by beating West Lauderdale. The Knights returned the favor last year.
St. Aloysius upped its mark to 14-1-1 as the Flashes posted a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over North Pike.
In Class 5A, the Meridian Lady Wildcats have beaten Gulfport 1-0 and Brandon 2-1 in a shootout to reach the semifinal round. Next up for the eighth-ranked Meridian girls is No. 7 Harrison Central, 17-2.
The Red Rebelettes defeated Northwest Rankin 4-1 in quarterfinal action behind two second half goals from Jackie Wright to pad a 2-1 lead provided by Sandra Magee and Beth Conover.
Meridian and Harrison clash at 4 p.m. today at Capital City Fields, which is the old St. Joseph football field.
Ross said the Red Rebelettes, who have been ranked in the Top 10 all season, have a host of weapons.
Completing the 5A girls' Final Four are No. 9 Vicksburg, 17-4, and top-ranked Clinton, 15-2-3. Vicksburg defeated Southaven 6-1 in the quarterfinals with Courtney Chapman and Kim Griffin both scoring two goals.
Clinton downed Madison Central 2-1 with Megan Black and Natalie Breithaupt each getting one goal.
Clinton and Vicksburg tangle at 4 p.m. today at Clinton.
If Meridian and West Lauderdale win today's semifinals games, they will play for state championships Saturday. Meridian would face the Clinton-Vicksburg winner at 11 a.m. at Clinton High School, while West would get the Mercy Cross-St. Aloysius winner at 11 a.m. at Pearl High School.
Sports writer Marty Stamper and sports editor Rocky Higginbotham may be reached at e-mail at sports@themeridianstar.com.

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