After PK exit at regions last year, Knights hope to pay back Raiders

The Southerner

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BY SYDNEY KRUSZEWSKI

The Lady Knights (3-3-1 overall, 0-1 in region play) will face their next Region 5-AAA challenge this Wednesday at Grady Stadium in the form of the visiting Riverwood Lady Raiders. The Lady Raiders (3-4, 1-0) will arrive to play at Grady at 5:30 p.m.

Riverwood’s current coach, Donald Macoy has been coaching the Raiders since 1998, and the team has improved under his tenure. In the last three seasons, Riverwood has accomplished winning records of 12-6-2, 12-6-3 and 12-7. In those years, the Raiders finished ranked in the top 10 in AAA — fifth, sixth, and ninth respectively.

The Grady girls have enjoyed mixed results so far this season. The Knights have had difficulty producing on offense because of a lack of healthy players. To make matter worse for the Lady Knights, junior Perri Bonner, the team’s leading scorer a year ago, will be playing injured after suffering a knee injury in Saturday’s game against Columbus.

The Knights lost to the Raiders last year at the region tournament. The game ended in the dreaded penalty kicks, where Grady players misfired on three shots while Riverwood missed only two.

Riverwood has an impressive soccer pedigree, including two trips to the AAA Elite Eight (1999 & 2010), one Final Four appearance (2005) and nine state-playoff appearances, including the last four years in a row (1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008-2011).  The team captured its last region title in 1999 and finished region runner-up the following year.  Despite its opponent’s impressive resume, Grady is going into the game with heads high,  hopeful for what would be a most-needed and most-celebrated region victory.

 

Looking back on last year’s ending, Grady is hopeful in beating Riverwood. “The game should be one of the most exciting games of the season. We are always evenly matched. In the last 4 years, the games have been decided in penalty kicks three times. Based on our records this season, we should beat them,” Grady’s captain, Lauren Harper, says.

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