LJCSA Lightning strike gold on pitch
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 21, 2004
Laurel Jones County Soccer Association Lightning forward Evan Balley struck at the right time in the State Games of Mississippi.
The under-10 girls soccer player rolled a shot from the left side of the field in the opening minute of the second half into the net to give the Lightning a 1-0 win over the Madison Mystic on Sunday. The Mystic earned the silver medal.
The rolling goal proved to be the only shot to reach the back of the net in the under-10 girls soccer gold-medal game.
LJCSA kept Madison off the scoreboard over the game's final 23 minutes to notch the win. Under-10 games were played in four 12-minute quarters.
Lightning goalkeeper Marisa Rushton recorded the shutout, coming up with a number of big stops in the second half.
Rushton made a diving save to her left on a shot from the right side of the field in the game's 32nd minute, but her biggest save came late in the final quarter.
With a Mystic forward on a breakaway, Rushton charged out of her net to meet the attacker. The Lightning goalkeeper slid into the forward's shot, and the ball crashed into the goalie's stomach.
Rushton was able to shake off the effects of the gut shot and remained in net for the rest of the game.
In the bronze medal game, the Northeast Jackson Soccer Organization Blue Bombers defeated the Brandon Blue Flame 3-1.
The Greenville Shockers built a 3-0 lead in the opening half, and they never looked back en route to winning the boys' gold medal.
The Shockers defeated the Madison Lightning 5-3 on Sunday to claim first place in their age division.
Read Kelly tallied four goals for Greenville, and Nathan Noble scored one.
Shockers coach Jim Allen is also the head soccer coach at Delta State University.
In the bronze medal game, the Greenwood Gators scored a 4-3 win over the LJCSA Blues Brothers.