No. 9 Pearl River comes up short in Gulf District Semifinal
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE, Miss. — One counterattack was the difference in Friday's Gulf District Semifinal. Despite having the upper hand for most of the match, the No. 9 Pearl River women's soccer team surrendered a late goal and fell to No. 3 Holmes 1-0.
"They put everything out there. They laid their hearts on the line," head coach Henrik Madsen said. "They gave it everything that they could, but we came up just a little bit short. We created some chances, but it wasn't our day and they caught us on the counter."
The Wildcats now await the announcement of the NJCAA DII National Tournament bracket to see if they did enough to receive an at-large bid. The bracket is set to be released Tuesday at 11 a.m.
"I think we've put ourselves in a position to at least be in contention for it. I think we've proved that we are one of the best teams remaining that could get it. We will just have to wait and see."
After the match, Madsen talked about the impact his sophomores have had on the program.
"These sophomores and super sophomores are incredible," he said. "We were able to get some of them for a third year. We have grown together. They've moved the program forward. They've done everything that I've asked of them. I'm so happy that they decided to stick with me."
Emma Godfrey (Pascagoula; Resurrection Catholic) took the first shot of the day for Pearl River (14-2-2 overall) in the 12th minute of the match. The forward was fed a pass outside the box but her shot from deep went wide.
Aníta Guðmundsdóttir (Kópavogur, Iceland.; Flensborg) came up big for the Wildcats in the 17th minute. After a ball into the box was headed around several times, a shot was fired toward the goal. The sophomore goalkeeper dove to her right to catch the shot and end the threat.
Aníta Guðmundsdóttir (Kópavogur, Iceland.; Flensborg) dives to her right to make an important save in Pearl River's match against Holmes.
PRCC had a golden scoring opportunity in the 24th minute but was unable to cash in. The Wildcats intercepted a pass by the Holmes (16-1-1) goalkeeper but Jess Harrison's (Gulfport; St. Patrick) shot was sent wide left.
It looked like PRCC had made a big mistake in the 33rd minute as the Bulldogs had a breakaway opportunity. Mackenzie Winters (Ocean Springs) came to the rescue, dashing from deep down the pitch to close the gap and poke the ball away.
Two minutes later, Pearl River was awarded a free kick outside the box and Laney Owen (Gulfport) stepped up to take it. The sophomore's kick into the box was headed by Godfrey, but the HCC keeper made an easy catch.
Neither team developed many chances in the second half play until Holmes finally broke the scoreless contest, hitting on a counterattack in the 74th minute.
Pearl River had two more good scoring chances but was unable to tie things up, falling to the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs.