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Lee County girls win region tourney opener, boys fall

Nicole Polk's two goals lifted the Lady Trojans to a win Tuesday in Region 1-AAAA soccer tournament.

Nicole Polk's two goals lifted the Lady Trojans to a win Tuesday in Region 1-AAAA soccer tournament.

LEESBURG — Lee County Lady Trojans soccer is state-playoff bound again after jumping on Northside, Columbus in the opener of the region playoffs Tuesday at home.

Lee County used two Nicole Polk goals, one late in the first and another early in the second half, to pull away for a 6-0 win, eliminating the Lady Patriots from the region playoffs.

The Lady Trojans (10-4-1) will play host in the Region 1-AAAA girls’ semifinals either Thursday or Friday against the Bainbridge-Warner Robins winner for a shot at a first-round home game in the state playoffs next month.

Suzanne Wynn opened the scoring in the first on an assist from Tamia Mills, and then Polk took advantage of a goalkeeper bobble at the net and kicked home a loose ball for a 2-0 lead with 14 minutes left in the first half.

“It feels good to play as a team,” said Polk, who is one of the Lady Trojans’ leading scorers along with fellow junior Carsen Taylor. “As the season progresses, we’re playing better as a team.”

Polk tied her career-high for goals in a game with her second score just 12 minutes into the second half when she broke away after a pass from Kristi Sheridan and finished at the net for a 3-0 lead. Mills added another goal five minutes later, and Lee County’s stellar defense made the lead stand up.

“That’s the key in these kinds of games – jump on them early, get ahead and it makes everybody feel better,” Lady Trojans’ head coach Dave Baltenberger said.

Ivy Booker and Taylor added scores in the final 20 minutes for Lee County, which was the top seed from 1B-AAAA after finishing undefeated in subregion play. The Lady Trojans will likely get another test from the opposite side of the region later this week against Warner Robins.

“We really don’t (know much about 1A-AAAA), but if we stay together and play as a team I don’t think we’ll have a problem,” Polk said.

WARNER ROBINS BOYS 3, LEE COUNTY 1: The No. 3 seeded Demons from Region 1A-AAAA ended the Trojans’ season Tuesday with a mild upset of Lee County, which came out of the 1B-AAAA tiebreaker as the subregion’s No. 2 seed.

Lee County’s Hunter Johnson and Victor Olaniyan gave Warner Robins’ goalkeeper Nathan Butts a workout in the first half, but the Demons’ net minder was game.

Warner Robins took a 1-0 lead at the 27:00 mark of the first half on Matt Monday’s goal off a pass from Mack Nelson that crossed up Trojans’ keeper Hunter Bowden at the net.

The Trojans knotted things up with 1:35 left before half when Nathan Elmore drilled a free kick into the back of the net to beat Butts, but that would be all the Demons goalie would allow.

Warner Robins’ Parker Shaw scored on a header off a corner kick with 20 minutes to play, and Lee County couldn’t capitalize on its best second-half scoring chance at the 14-minute mark after a long pass got behind the goalkeeper but bounced off a Trojan out of play.

Nelson added a late insurance goal for the Demons to clinch a state playoff ticket for Warner Robins.