By: Rob Grubbs — sportalspace contributorFollow @sportalspace
May 1, 2018 (Peachtree City, GA) – When a racecar is dialed with the perfect combination of power, speed and balance, it is a joy to sit back and watch, unless you are a competitor and you only see it leaving you behind in the dust. The No. 1 McIntosh Lady Chiefs soccer team, who is looking to repeat as Class AAAAA state champions, gave their own impression of a well-tuned machine as they blew past the No. 10 ranked Harris County Lady Tigers in the second round of the state playoffs on Tuesday afternoon at McIntosh Stadium, winning a goal-shortened game 10-0 to advance to the third round.
The Lady Tigers (13-6) were not some cupcake team brought in as fodder for the Lady Chiefs (17-1-2), they had a very successful season and had won their first round match against Ware County by the score of 4-2. They also feature the Columbus Ledger 2017 All-Bi-City player of the year, Kylie Bechard. But the reactions on the Lady Tiger faces showed that the speed of the Lady Chiefs was different than they had experienced thus far.
The Lady Chiefs had the first scoring opportunity at the 5-minute mark but Lady Tiger keeper Skyler Curenton got some assistance from the top rail of the goal to keep the ball of the net. However, the relentless attack continued and the Lady Chiefs broke through with two goals at the 12-minute mark, one by Mackensi Rohn which opened the flood gates to Lady Chief scoring opportunities.
The Lady Chiefs would score five more goals before the end of the first half, including a Morgan Yocorn goal assisted by Rohn, an Emma Whitson goal off a corner kick that was assisted by Sklyar Dzenis and a goal from Grace Podolski.
For the Lady Tigers, the highlight of the first half was at the mid-point, Hayley Dekker found some open space after a great move at the mid-field stripe but just missed putting the ball in the net. The shell shocked Lady Tigers looked to regroup in the second half and play for pride, but the Lady Chiefs got the additional three goals needed to end the game early at 10-0.
An important part of the playoffs has been the development of keeper Stephanie Yi. Their starting goalkeeper, Emily Lopez was injured in the Starr’s Mill game during the overtime penalty kicks process and lost for the season. Lady Chief Head Coach Marcia Clark plugged Yi in who completed the win against Starr’s Mill and has gone 5-0-1 since and has yet to give up a goal in the playoffs.
Coach Clark said afterwards, “It was a team effort, we got creative with our goal scoring, the defense was stifling and we shut them down and I could not be more proud.” On Yi being the keeper for the remainder of the season, she said “Stephanie has made some fantastic saves for us already, we have every confidence in her.”
The Lady Chiefs next test will be on Friday as they face the Carrollton Lady Trojans (10-7-1) who are the top team from Region 7-AAAAA. For Coach Clark and the Lady Chiefs, they continue play like champions.
A Blast from the Past…
McIntosh Lady Chiefs
Gabby Seiler just concluded her soccer career at the University of Florida, she was named all SEC three times and third team All-American in 2017. She was drafted by the Portland Thorns in the 2018 NWSL Draft. A 2013 graduate of McIntosh, she was named Fayette County Athlete of the Year in 2013.
Harris County Lady Tigers
Madison Plemons was a 2014 graduate from Harris County High School. She attended Point University where she played soccer for four years and was named to the AAC 2017 and 2015 All-Academic team.