TIFTON -- Calling the victory "huge," head coach Ann Herzog's Tift County Lady Devils soccer team defeated the Colquitt County Lady Packers 2-1 in overtime Friday night here at Optimist Field.
"They knew they needed this to remain in second place," said Herzog of her squad.
The Lady Devils (4-3, 4-2) were coming off a tough 4-0 loss to the Lowndes High Vikettes Tuesday in Valdosta. The Lowndes girls hold the top spot in the region.
Herzog admitted last week that she knew her Lady Devils faced a tough schedule this week.
"It was plenty," Herzog said of Colquitt effort.
The Lady Packers drew first blood when Jodi Beth Hammock scored with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
But in the second it was all Tift County as the ball stayed on the Colquitt side of the field for the majority of the 40 minute second half.
"It was all us," said Herzog. The effort effectively wore down the Lady Packers as midway through the second half Kristy Kirkland put one past the Colquitt goalie to tie the contest at one each.
Then with five minutes remaining in the second 10-minute overtime half, Kirkland once again connected. The sophomore striker took a pass from senior Ivey Ellis before scoring the game-winning goal.
Herzog praised the play of senior sweeper Veronica Cervantes, calling her defensive effort impressive, and ninth grade midfielder Natalie Barber.
"Natalie played tough," said Herzog.
The Lady Devils and Blue Devils travel to St. Mary's today for an afternoon series with Camden County. The girls play at 1 p.m. and boys take the field at 3 p.m.
Region 1-AAAAA play picks up again Tuesday as both teams travel to Valdosta for a meeting with the Lady Wildcats and Wildcats. The girls match is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and boys will play at 7:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils and Colquitt Packers score was not available at press time. See Sunday's edition of the Tifton Gazette for details of that match.
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