First Presbyterian Christian Academy girls soccer coach Tom Sukaratana paced the sidelines, guiding his team through the motions as it played Terrell Academy on Friday in the Georgia Independent School Association state quarterfinals at St. James Sports Field.
His team is chasing its first state title, one that eluded them last season losing to Gatewood in the final game, a thought that still stirs in the back of the coach’s mind. However, his team took a big step toward that goal by winning, 7-2.
With the win, the Lady ’Landers (13-1 overall, 7-0 in Region 2-AA) advance to the semifinals and will host Trinity Christian of Dublin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at James Brown Park. Trinity Christian is 13-2-1 and 7-1 in Region 1-AA.
On Friday, the visiting Eagles had speedy players, but the Lady ’Landers kept the ball away from them as much as possible and used every chance they had to take shots on goal.
The visiting team would score its only goals in the final nine minutes of regulation, when Sukaratana had pulled many of his starters to rest them for the challenge ahead.
The Lady ’Landers controlled the speed and tempo to out-maneuver the Eagles.
FPCA’s Kelsey Higgason scored three goals, with her first coming with the opening 10 minutes of play. She scored twice in the second half within a span of 35 seconds. Elaina Peterson added two goals in the game. Her first was a light tap-and-send as the goalie stepped forward to reach the ball. Her second goal came off an assist by Myesha Robinson, who was within a few feet of the goal and had the keeper occupied. Robinson tapped the ball over to Peterson, who had a clear shot for the score.
Brooke Standard also scored two goals. On her first goal, while taking the ball downfield, Standard saw the goalie step forward and move to grab the ball. Using a softball slide, Standard slid down and tapped the ball with her toe behind the goalie for a score.
Standard had a little help from Megan Gillon and Cecilia Graham on her second goal. Gillon had thrown in successful flip-tosses the entire game and was prepared for another one when she saw the entire Eagles team shift downfield to cover the throw. She lightly tossed in the ball to Graham who, as the Lady Eagles moved forward, tapped it to Standard, who completed the play with a goal.
The FPCA boys’ team was scheduled to play a playoff game against Valwood Christian on Saturday in Valdosta.
Results were unavailable at press time.