Girls thunder past Stone Mountain, 8-0

The Southerner

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BY KASSIDY KELLEY

Despite horrible weather conditions, the Grady girls soccer team ran off the field with another region victory under its belt.

This game had a late start due to the delayed arrival of the visitors from Stone Mountain. Once the Pirates disembarked, however, and the whistle blew to start the game at 5:55 p.m., 25 minutes after the initial start time. Grady started with the ball, and it wasn’t long before the goals began to roll in. Despite the great amounts of defensive effort put in by the Pirates, in less than 45 minutes, the Knights shut them out by a final score of 8-0.

Within the first four minutes, junior Gracie Griffith, No. 18, took the ball down the outside and struck the ball right into the back of the net, landing Grady its first goal and setting off a chain reaction of many more that followed. Sophomore Sydney Shaw, No. 12, dribbled around a Pirates defender and passed the ball to junior Erin Ferris, No. 10, who seized the opportunity to score Grady’s second goal. Ferris also scored the third goal, assisted by Griffith, after a free kick due to a foul against sophomore Lily Soto. Soto placed the ball in prime position to be launched right past the Stone Mountain goalie.

That wasn’t the last of the fouls against Soto. A trip-up in the penalty box led to the perfect opportunity for Soto to strike the ball right past the goalie’s hands, giving Grady yet another goal.

Once the ball was in play again, the Pirates attempted to take it down field, only to be stopped by Grady defenders, who then pushed it back up the field. Sophomore defender Phoebe Mason, No. 16, assisted junior Naomi Valdevieso, No. 15, with the fifth goal, make the score 5-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game. Both Soto and sophomore Hannah Stockdale, No. 7, scored in the next 10 minutes, ending the first half 20 minutes earlier than usual due to the large goal differential between the two teams.

The second half began with the Pirates in possession of the ball. Grady defended all of Stone Mountain’s attempts to get a shot on goal, and the Knights possessed the ball again before a minute had elapsed in the half.

Shortly after the start of the second half, the rain began to pick up quite a bit, along with strong gusts of wind, but the Grady girls kept pushing for another goal. An intense battle for possession in the Pirates penalty box, along with a couple of missed shots, ended with Ferris sinking the team’s eighth goal into the back of the net. That ended up being the final goal of the game. The stormy conditions were causing umbrellas and even trashcans to fly through the stadium seats, prompting practically everyone watching to leave. The game was eventually called off when bolts of lightning and the sound of thunder echoed through the sky.

The Knights fought until the end. “If it hadn’t been for the rain, I’m confident that our team could have mercy ruled them and won the game 10-0.” Shaw said. The Knights next travel to Douglas County High School for their next game on April 15, the Wednesday after Spring Break.

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