January 23, 2013 3:48:27 AM
From Special Reports
SALTILLO -- Overtime and first-round playoffs games is a mix the New Hope High School girls soccer team can't escape.
Fortunately, the Lady Trojans proved again it's a situation they thrive in.
Regan Hern's goal five minutes into the first overtime period Tuesday lifted New Hope to a 2-1 victory against Saltillo in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs.
New Hope (16-4-1) moves on to the second round to play host to Ridgeland, which defeated Hernando 7-0 on Tuesday, on Saturday at a time to be determined.
"None of the girls quit on either side of the ball," New Hope coach Mary Nagy said. "It was two great teams that knocked each other out on the field."
Hern took an assist from Pernille Slettestoel and scored the game-winner. The Lady Trojans then had to survive through the final five minutes of the first OT and 10 more minutes in the second OT session.
Nagy said both teams went full throttle through 80 minutes of regulation and the 20 minutes of extra time. She credited Saltillo for having a number of fast players, but she praised her players for being able to counter the through balls with solid defense.
Saltillo took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a goal a little more than two minutes before intermission.
Effie Morrison tied the game about midway through the second half. The sophomore captain converted an indirect kick with a low, hard shot to the corner.
From there, the teams traded blows. Nagy said goalkeeper McKenzie Harvey played well and kept fighting after allowing the first goal. By the time the match ended, Nagy joked she needed a paramedic because of the high intensity involved in the back-and-forth play.
The victory helped New Hope escape in overtime for the third consecutive season.
In 2011, New Hope beat Oxford 3-2. Last season, New Hope edged Hernando 5-4. Each time, though, Ridgeland ended New Hope's season in the second round in Columbus.
n Class 4A Girls: Lewisburg 2, Caledonia 1, OT: At Lewisburg, Darby Williams scored off an assist from Lydia Cross, but the Lady Confederates (12-9) saw their season end in the first round of the MHSAA North State playoffs.
Lewisburg scored the game-winner with about two minutes left to go in the first five-minute overtime period. The teams were tied 1-1 after 80 minutes of regulation. They went scoreless for two 10-minute overtime periods. The five-minute OT sessions are golden goal, meaning the first team that scores wins.
"It was pretty evenly matched," Caledonia coach Jason Forrester said. "They scored about 20 minutes to go in the first half. We got the equalizer from Darby Williams on an indirect kick after the keeper picked up a ball played back to her by feet. Lydia touched it to Darby and she buried it into the right corner about two minutes before half."
Forrester said senior goalkeeper Sarah Freeman stopped a penalty kick in the second half to set the stage for extra time.
He said both Lewisburg goals were well-placed shots that went over Freeman's head. He said she was in position on the second one, only to have the shot from the corner of the 18 end the Lady Confederates' season.
"We had numerous chances around the goal, and we were taking some good shots. They were just wide of the post," Forrester said.
"We were doing a good job of keeping the ball out of the keeper's hands, and we were going low and high to the corner of the frame, but we were just missing by a foot or two. We were close to putting it in and winning in regulation."
n Class 6A Boys: Clinton 2, Columbus 0: At Clinton, the Falcons (11-6) saw their season come to an end in the first round of the MHSAA North State playoffs.
The playoff appearance was the second in as many years for third-year coach Ben Moore's program.
"They are a very skilled team," Moore said of Clinton.
"I am very proud of our boys for hanging with them. It was a hard-fought game. I hate the season is over. However, we left it all on the field. Preston Taylor played fantastic."
The loss marked the end of the prep soccer careers of the Falcons' 11 seniors.