Photo: Homewood’s Annie McBride (left) tries to move past Southside’s Camryn Davis during the Lady Panthers’ 5-2 loss in the Class 6A state soccer semifinals on May 13 in Huntsville. (Marvin Gentryfirstname.lastname@example.org)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Southside girls soccer team’s 2022 season ended on all too familiar fashion on May 13 in Huntsville.
Making the program’s seventh straight appearance in the Class 6A state semifinals, the Lady Panthers (18-4-2) fell to Homewood, 5-2 at the John Hunt Soccer Complex.
Southside head coach Tiffany Cargill noted that her team played “back on our heels” for a good part of the game. Homewood finished with a 24 to 4 advantage in shots on goal and a 13 to 3 edge in corner kicks.
“Homewood just got the better of us,” she said. “They possessed the ball a lot more than we did, and it was hard for us to catch up and get our footing. We became more reactionary than pro-active. But I am proud of our girls for being able to get on the scoreboard with two quality goals against a very good team.”
Southside played from behind for most of the match after the Lady Patriots (19-2-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes off a pair of goals from Annie McBride. The first at 9:13 came on a direct kick and the second at 14:47 off a corner kick.
The Lady Panthers drew within 2-1 midway through the first half after Ziniah Hardy scored off a free kick from approximately 30 yards out, but Homewood responded 10 minutes later with Lily Lowery’s header off a corner kick.
Grace Studinja scored off a rebound eight minutes into the second half to put the Lady Patriots up 4-1.
Alana Morton’s goal off a penalty at the 68-minute mark kept Southside within striking distance before Homewood’s Laine Owen scored four minutes later to effectively put the game out of reach.
Anna Kate Welch had four saves in goal for the Lady Panthers.
Homewood went on to defeated Northridge, 5-0, in the state title game.
Cargill pointed to seniors Camryn Davis, Alana Morton, Ziniah Hardy and Ciarra Flowers as major contributors to the program.
“Those are four quality players who have been with us the past five or six years. Every year we have the same goal, which is to get to this point, and those girls had a lot to do with that. I’m very proud of them for fighting through adversity and persevering and being good leaders. They’re solid pillars of our team and are definitely going to be missed.”