Knights fail road test at Carrollton in opening round of 3A playoffs

The Southerner

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BY DEVIN DOWDY

Team captain Nally Kinnane offered no excuses for the Knights 3-0 shutout loss to host Carrollton on May 4 in the opening round of the class 3A state playoffs.

She might have pointed out that it was a road game played before few Grady fans. She might have mentioned that their opponent was rated No. 7 in the state.

But when asked to explain the loss, Kinnane simply said that the team did not play well. End of story. End of season.

Morgan McDonald scored the first goal for the Lady Trojans 15 minutes into the first half to putting the Lady Knights down 1-0.

Grady made a lot of changes on their offense and defense after the first goal was scored, Kinnane said.  After Grady made these adjustments, the Knight defense held, as Carrollton failed to convert on four excellent scoring opportunities. But the Grady turnaround was short-lived as Kate Fazio scored for the Trojans in the in the last minute of the first half.

Going into the half trailing 2-0 was frustrating for the Lady Knights.

“We started to panic because we knew we were not playing well,” Kinnane said.

The Lady Knights knew they had to perform better if they wanted to keep their season alive. After seven minutes of back-and-forth action, the Knight goalie committed a penalty that gave Kate Fazio a penalty-kick opportunity to score her second goal.

Fazio gently kicked the ball in the bottom right corner scoring again and giving the Trojans a 3-0 lead.  At that point, Kinnane said, the Lady Knights began to give up hope.

Carrollton advanced to the Elite Eight with a 3-1 victory over Eagles Landing on May 9.  Vying to advance to the Final Four on May 12 at City Park, the Trojans lost 1-1 (6-5 on penalty kicks) to Gainesville, a team that the Trojans had beaten during the regular season. The heartbreaking loss ended the Trojans’ season at 13-6-1.

As for Grady, the unfortunate early exit for the proud team did not sour a successful season.  The Knights ended with a respectable 10-8-1 record.

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