Southside High’s Kelsey Patterson (3) fights off Chelsea’s Megan Hurley during the Lady Panthers’ 2-0 loss in the Class 6A girls soccer state championship game last Saturday (May 13) in Huntsville.
By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Southside’s High’s first-ever appearance in a girls’ state soccer final ended on a disappointing note last Saturday (May 13) in Huntsville.
Fresh off an 8-0 shutout over Pell City the day before, the Lady Panthers struggled on the offensive end of the field en route to a 2-0 loss in the Class 6A state championship.
Chelsea out-shot Southside 16-6 for the game and played much of the first half in Southside’s end. The Lady Panthers (15-7-1) created more opportunities in the second half with three shots on goal and a pair of corner kicks, but Chelsea goalkeeper Sabrina Lang and the Lady Hornet defense held firm.
“[Chelsea] has a really good offense, so our plan was to utilize more of our offensive players from our defense, which prohibited us from generating much on offense,” said Southside head coach Tiffany Cargill. “We had a few good opportunities but just couldn’t finish.”
Chelsea (17-6-2) went ahead 1-0 lead 4:15 into the game on a goal from Tournament MVP Lexie Duca. The Lady Hornets did not find the net again until Madeline Gullien scored with 13 minutes left in the game.
Chelsea played the final 18 minutes a man down when a player was disqualified after earning a red card but the Lady Panthers could not take advantage of the added numbers.
“From that point we tried to play three up front but we weren’t able to make something happen,” said Cargill.
Alley Rubrigi recorded four first-half saves for Southside, while Savanna Blackwell had two in the second half.
“I thought that both girls had some amazing saves,” said Cargill. “They definitely kept us in the game.”
Cargill spoke fondly of her nine-member senior class of Rubrigi, Kelsey Patterson, Madison Bolton, Victoria Bowling, Megan Hendrick, Destini Johnson, Elisabeth Jones, Aleah McInturff and McKenzie Rodocker.
“This is my fifth year, so I’ve had them for their whole varsity careers. I had them when they were babies, and obviously they’re not babies anymore. I’ve seen them grow and become a really good, solid unit that worked toward a common goal. I’m definitely said to see all nine of them go.”