The Long County High School boys’ and girls’ teams gave the ranked soccer teams from Vidalia tough fights on Friday.
However, the host Lady Indians and Indians still emerged with wins.
According to Eurosport-Scoreboard.com, the Indians went into the game as the No. 8-ranked boys’ team in the state, while the girls went in at No. 7.
In the early game, the Lady Tide stunned everyone — except themselves — when they took a 4-1 halftime lead over the Lady Indians. However, in the second half, Vidalia showed why it was undefeated, scoring five unanswered goals to eke out the win, 6-4.
Nakia Hunter, Kelsey Higgason, Sam Garcia and Megan Higgason scored for the Lady Tide. Long County coach Brian Todd also praised the play of goalie Katie Estill, saying she played outstanding, but wore down in the second half. He said that even though his team had Vidalia on the ropes, they just couldn’t put them away.
“We played really aggressive in the first half and pushed the door right at them … we talked at halftime about keeping our foot on the gas pedal, but it just didn’t happen … simply put we got outcoached in the second half, and that goes on me,” Todd said.
He said when the Lady Indians come to Ludowici later this season, he and the team will be ready, and they have to find a way to finish them off.
With the loss, the Lady Tide fell to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in Region 2-AA. Vidalia moved to 3-0 in the region.
In the boys’ game, Long County played well and went into halftime tied with the Indians, 1-1. But in the second half, Vidalia scored a late goal to take the slim 2-1 victory. Francisco Mejia scored the lone goal for Long County.
“It was another tough game. We played well and going into the last 10 minutes of play we felt it was anyone’s game,” Blue Tide coach Paul Austin said.
He said that he is pleased with his team’s play up to this point in the season.
“I’m very proud of my guys and their performances this year,” Austin said. “The ball just hasn’t rolled our way yet. It will come if we keep putting ourselves in position to win. Vidalia is a very good team and there is a reason they are ranked … we are young but growing with every game, I can’t wait until we put it all together.”
With the loss, the Blue Tide fell to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the region, while Vidalia moved to 3-0 overall and in the region.
The Long County teams were scheduled to face Benedictine and St. Vincent Tuesday at home. Results from those games will be in an upcoming edition of the Coastal Courier.