Lee County girls soccer ease to title game

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

LEESBURG -- Lady Trojans soccer doesn't discriminate.

Lee County dished out plenty of punishment during the regular season in its unbeaten 1A-AAAA subregion slate. Matched against subregion 1B-AAAA in the region playoffs, the Lady Trojans have continued to crush teams.

Lee, the top seed from its subregion, rolled to its second 10-0 mercy rule win Friday in the semifinals of the Region 1-AAAA tournament against Upson-Lee, the second seed from its subregion, to advance to the region title game.

When that game is played (date and time not officially set), the Lady Trojans are expecting a serious test. That's because they'll face a familiar foe: Thomas County Central.

"I always like playing them because it's always an intense game and we get pumped up for them," Lady Trojans senior goalkeeper Ashley Law said. "They're our rival. We should come out fired up against them."

TCC, the second seed in Lee County's subregion, dropped Region 1B-AAAA top seed Harris County, 7-0, Thursday to advance to the title game. TCC ended Lee County's three-year reign as region champs last year with a 1-0 win in the title game, but the Lady Trojans took both games from the Lady Yellow Jackets during the regular season.

On Friday, Lee took its time with Upson-Lee before exploding in the second half. Rachel Hatch's goal at the 28-minute mark was the only score in the opening minutes before Casey Schoenberger chipped in a deflected header in front of the net to put Lee County ahead, 2-0, with just left 13:50 before half.

"Feel them out," Lady Trojans second-year coach Dave Baltenberger joked about the first-half strategy. "We'll take the final score. That's all that matters."

Just before halftime, Kaitlyn Farrell centered a perfect corner kick with 31 seconds left in the first half to Brittney Rackley, who scored for a 3-0 Lady Trojans lead at intermission.

Hatch scored her second goal of the game, giving her seven so far in the region playoffs, just 30 seconds into the second half to give Lee (15-1-1) a comfortable 4-0 advantage.

"That really set the tone in the second half," Baltenberger said.

After that, the rout was on. Haley Cimino, Morgan Barbaro, Hatch and Carson Taylor all added scores in the second half. Taylor scored three goals in the second half, giving the freshman five region playoff goals.

"Our offense is really clicking," Baltenberger said. "If our defense keeps playing like it is, all we've got to do is score a few."

Law, meanwhile, had another easy day in net, facing just three shots on goal. She expects things to change next week in the region championship.

"There's probably going to be a lot more action," Law said.