Girls soccer loses in semifinals to Chamblee


Farris Duwayri

Senior Shay Bowman dribbles through the Chattahoochee defense in their 9-2 win on April 12.

Farris Duwayri

After a historic run to the state championship last year, Midtown’s girls soccer team finished the year with a strong 18-2 record. The Knights fell to Chamblee in the final four, losing 3-0.

In the first round of playoffs, the team had a 9-2 victory against Chattahoochee and a 2-1 overtime win against Jefferson in the second round. Head coach Blair Barksdale believes the team has the capabilities to be a championship contender.

“We came out strong against a good Chattahoochee team,” Barksdale said. “Each round is tougher in the playoffs and there are a few things that we need to adjust and change, but I’m proud of them, and we made it happen.”

The Knights won over McIntosh 2-1 in the third round but they fell to Chamblee 3-0 in the semifinals. Senior captain Shay Bowman believes that the team kept high spirits throughout the game and played strong.

“Chamblee is an incredible team and we knew it was going to be a tough opponent,” Bowman said. “Nobody let down or gave up. The energy of the game was positive and the team was ready to do the best we possibly could, which I think we did. We’ve played really well and even when we’re down, nobody has given up.”

Barksdale believes that injuries have been a major factor in the postseason, but they have been able to push through and step up.

“Injuries have been hard,” Barksdale said. “Hayley [Chamberlin’s injury] was just a shock. Other injuries from the heat [are happening]. We’ve had a couple go down from cramps or shin splints. But we have had a lot of people step up. They can do it, they just need the confidence to do it.”

Bowman agrees that the team was able to push past injuries and make a difference in the playoffs.

“Games have been difficult because we’re missing people and that took a toll on everybody to adjust to fast,” Bowman said. “But overall, everyone’s had a really good effort, and it’s really good to see everyone continue to play hard.”

Sophomore Ella Gagnon believes that while the playoffs have been more difficult than the regular season, they played strong.

“It’s definitely been more challenging because all of our region games were shutouts,” Gagnon said. “The teams we’ve been playing in the playoffs are definitely more challenging, but I think we handled it pretty well.”

Junior Allie Planeaux agrees that while the competition has been tougher, they were able to play well and keep their energy up.

“The teams have definitely been harder to play against, but it has been pretty good,” Planeaux said. “We have all been competitive and have won games. Our team has bonded a lot this year, and we are all really close, and it has helped us play as a team. The team is really fun, but we always play our best and the energy is really good.”

Bowman also believes that the team has a good open environment that is beneficial to the whole team.

“Our atmosphere is great, and we are always laughing,” Bowman said. “Everyone works hard, and it’s just a really great atmosphere. The dynamic between us and our coach as well is pretty good, and we are able to discuss what we want to happen. Everyone is really able to voice their opinion which I think not every sport is able to do. I think that there is a really great dynamic and everyone is really good friends.”

Barksdale says that she has seen the team persevere and hopes that they will also push forwards next year and beyond.

“We’ve pushed through and have made it happen, and I’m proud,” Barksdale said. “We have to be prepared for tough teams. It really means a lot to [juniors and seniors] and they are really helping the underclassmen develop. I really hope that the younger bunch will step up, and they can fill the spots that are left. I hope the program will grow and can make a deep playoff run every year.”