January 27, 2011 7:55:00 AM
OXFORD -- Effie Morrison helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team keep its season alive -- and make history.
Morrison''s goal in the third minute of the first 10-minute overtime period Wednesday night lifted New Hope to a 3-2 victory against Oxford in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs.
"One of the biggest lessons we have learned is hard work pays off," New Hope coach Mary Nagy said. "The girls never quit. It would have been easy for the girls after the score was tied to give up, but they wouldn''t let it go. They weren''t going to go home with a loss."
Nagy said the victory is the program''s first in the playoffs. It also helped New Hope (13-3) continue a season in which it has recorded its most victories.
New Hope will play host to Ridgeland, which defeated Forest Hill 11-0, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Ridgeland is the defending Class 5A state champion. It also won Class 4A state titles in 2005-08.
New Hope built a 2-0 halftime lead thanks to goals from Maria Bergdal, off a header on a corner kick from Sarah Hern in the first three and a half minutes of the game, and Hern, who scored off an assist from Sam Vogel.
Oxford scored off a corner kick and on a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box.
Morrison netted the game-winner after getting past two midfielders and a defender and delivering an instep pass under a leaping goalkeeper.