The last time the Lady Highlanders defeated Frederica Academy was three years ago in 2014.
After that season’s large graduating class, rebuilding the Lady Highlanders was a struggle, and that was most notably apparent against the Frederica Academy Knights.
That changed Friday night when the Lady ’Landers hosted the Knights at the St. James Sports Center.
First Presbyterian notched another shutout in a 2-0 win over their fiercest rivals.
The Lady ’Landers controlled the game from the first whistle.
Despite numerous shots, the Knights goal keeper kept the Highlanders out of the goal the entire first half and much of the second. With 10 minutes left in the game the Lady ’Landers finally hit the back of the net.
Cassandra Ruff recovered the ball from a Knight and passed to Cecilia Graham. Graham sent a long pass down the field to an unguarded Auset Gibbs, who launched the ball in for a 1-0 game.
A few minutes later, Madison Buckley took a corner kick for the Highlanders.
Instead of sending the ball to the goal where the Knights waited, Buckley passed it back to Graham in the middle of the field. As the Knights descended on Graham, they left Mary Kathryn Whitney unguarded at the half circle. Graham quickly passed the ball off to Whitney.
Not expecting the play. the Knights goal keeper was caught off guard and Whitney shot the ball through the keeper’s legs.
Credited in the shutout for FPCA are Madison Buckley, Mackenzie Buckley, Cassandra Ruff, Kasey Caines and Helana Scott.
The Lady ’Landers (15-0, 3-0 region) earned their 11th shutout of the season. FPCA has outscored opponents 76-7. According to Coach Tom Sukaratana there is still much work to do.
"This was not the best game I have seen them play," he said. "I believe we won’t know their true potential until later in the season and they play together more."
With five region games left before playoffs Sukaratana cautioned against letdowns.
"We need to play every game with 100 percent effort, no matter who we are playing," he said. "We have to be ready for the other powerhouse schools we will see in the playoffs, such as Deerfield Windsor and Augusta Prep."
The Highlander boys lost 8-1. The Highlanders had 10 shots on goal, the Knights 36. Highlander goal keeper Matt Smith is credited with an impressive 22 saves in the game. Ausar Gibbs shot in the lone goal for FPCA on a penalty kick after a foul.
On Tuesday, the squads will travel to Lyons to face Robert Toombs Christian Academy, with matches beginning at 4 p.m. Previously, the Lady ‘Landers defeated Toombs 3-0 and 5-0. The Highlander boys won 5-1.