High School Soccer
Lady Indians lose thriller to No. 2-ranked Harrison
by Doug Gorman
The Harrison Lady Hoyas might just hold on to their No. 2-ranking in the Class AAAAAA poll, but the East Coweta Lady Indians made them work to keep it Tuesday at Garland Shoemake Stadium.
Both teams battled to the wire and deep into penalty kicks before the Lady Hoyas escaped with a 2-1 decision during a rematch of a second-round matchup in last year’s state playoffs.
The two teams followed each other kick for kick over 10 rounds, connecting on eight consecutive tries, then missing the ninth, only to both fire true on the 10th.
But from there, Harrison and East Coweta finally went separate ways.
The Lady Hoyas again converted on its 11th attempt and the Lady Indians followed with an attempt that sailed over the net.
With the loss, East Coweta dropped to 2-2 overall. Harrison improved to 5-0.
It was another tough loss to swallow for the Lady Indians, who fell 5-1 to Harrison in last year’s playoffs and were coming off a 2-1 loss to Class AAAAA state ranked Starr’s Mill that cost head coach Chris Luppens a red card.
The veteran coach, who also serves as an assistant for the boys team picked up a red card in the Indians last match and watched both games with Harrison from the press box unable to offer any input per GHSA rules.
However, Luppens had his girls prepared heading into the match with the state ranked team.
Trailing 1-0, East Coweta grabbed a share of the momentum midway through the second half when Haley Roberts connected on the equalizer with 21:24 remaining in regulation.
The Lady Indians had several chances before finally lighting up its half of the scoreboard
Serenity Waters and Lynnsey Danford had shots on goal in the first five minutes.
Morgan Haase and Anna Lauzon also had a chance to put shots in the back of the net early in the first half.
Despite its second straight loss, the Lady Indians continued to receive solid goaltending from a pair of keepers.
Freshman Sam Hoffman started in net and also handle the penalty kick duties and sophomore Kelsey Weaver played the second half.
The goalkeeping duo made several key saves.
Harrison built a 1-0 lead in the first half getting a goal from Teyra Aycock who put the ball in the back of East Coweta net with 20:49 left in the first half.
Aycock kept pressure on the Lady Indians net throughout the first half. She nearly put the Lady Hoyas up by two goals when she hit the post with 14 minutes still left in the period.
Harrison had a couple of chances late in the first half, getting three corner kicks in the last three minutes, including two in the final 15 seconds, but solid defense kept the ball out of the back of the net to keep it at a one-goal lead.
East Coweta, who has outscored opponents 30-5 this season, returns to Region 3-AAAAAA play on Friday at home against Douglas County.