All summer long, the only thing that has been on the mind of the Southwestern Lady Warrior soccer team has been the 12th Region Girls Soccer Tournament.
The Lady Warriors took their final step towards preparing for the regional tournament after claiming a 9-0 victory over Wayne County in Monday evening’s 48th District Girls Soccer Championships game at the Plains.
Third-year Lady Warrior coach Nick Stringer and his team are more than glad that the regional tournament is finally here.
“That’s what our girls have been talking all-summer long – the regional tournament,” began Stringer. “The girls want to get wins in the region – that’s all that they have been thinking about. I’m glad it’s here, and I know they’re glad it’s here.”
The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the early minutes of the match, as junior Hanna Ratliff scored her first of two goals in the ninth minute.
Just over three minutes later, senior Nicole Upchurch converted on a penalty kick opportunity to put the Lady Warriors ahead by two goals at 2-0.
In the 16th minute, Ratliff netted her second goal of the game to give Southwestern a 3-0 lead over the visiting Lady Cardinals. Brandi Abrams’ goal with 23:47 remaining in the first half put the Lady Warriors out front by a 4-0 margin.
Briar Russell added a goal just before the intermission to give the Lady Warriors a 5-0 lead at halftime.
In the 50th minute of the game, a goal from Molly Brainard widened the gap to six goals.
Goals from Upchurch, Taylor Turner (penalty kick), and B. Russell all scored goals in the final 30 minutes of the match to allow Southwestern to earn the 9-0 victory.
Kaylee Shepherd, a senior, finished with a shutout in the goal for the Lady Warriors.
Upchurch, Brainard, Turner, and Dylana Fothergill were all named to the All-District Team.
Southwestern, who moved to 12-5-1 with the win over Wayne County, will return to action next week, when they host the regional tournament at the Plains.
“It comes down to the luck of the draw, whichever team you draw, you’re just going to have to prepare for that team and beat that team,” concluded Stringer. “All the region teams that we played this season, we played pretty close.”
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22