Bradwell and Liberty County got a split decision in their intercity soccer battle Saturday at Donell Woods Stadium.
The Lady Panthers topped their BI counterparts, 3-0, while the Tigers claimed the boys’ game, 4-0. Also last week, the Lady Panthers dropped a Region 3A-AAAA game to Statesboro.
“We lost (2-1) a tough one to Statesboro last Friday. The game was scoreless at halftime and we kept the ball in their half of the field for most of the game,” Lady Panthers coach Jarvis McArthur said. “Statesboro scored first in the second half, and we tied it, 1–1, with about 15 minutes remaining. However, they scored off a corner kick with less than 20 seconds left in the game. I was really proud of how our girls fought hard all the way to the end. Our defense was stellar, led by junior defender Jhanee O’Neal.”
On Saturday, Liberty took the early lead. Freshman Sidney Wilkinson scored her first of the season with an assist from O’ Neal. The Lady Panthers kept the 1-0 lead at halftime, and then added two more goals in the second half from Myesha Robinson and Courtney Welch.
The Lady Panthers were 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Region 3A-AAAA after Saturday’s action, while the Lady Tigers were 0-4 overall.
In Saturday’s second game, the Tigers were coming off a tough, physical 2-1 loss Friday to perennial soccer power Glynn Academy.
Against Liberty, Bradwell took the early lead on a goal from Darius Smith. Robert Miller drilled a kick to the left part of the net about two minutes before the half. The Tigers did not score again until the final minutes of the game, when Xxavier Clyde kicked one in. Two minutes later, Anthony Dolphin headed a ball into the net for the final goal. “As always, the Bradwell-Liberty game is a passionate matchup,” Tigers coach Tommy Oglesby said. “Our boys came out hungry and powerful, considering that they had played so strongly the night before against Glynn Academy.”
Though Oglesby was happy with win against Liberty, he thought that his squad should have been more aggressive and taking better shots.
“We played with vigor. Over 15 shots were taken on the goal, but only four connected with the back of the net,” Oglesby said.
Bradwell continued to play strong defense, which along with strong ball movement is one of the hallmarks of their 2014 campaign.
“Defensively, we did well keeping the Panthers shots to a minimum,” Oglesby said. “One positive thing that we saw out of this match was an increase in communication between our boys. We’ve got to continue to work on finishing and connecting the ball to the back of the net. We’re young, and that skill will come better with time and experience.”