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Jones' Hat Trick lifts Jackets

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    BROOKLET — Morgan Jones got her first hat trick of the year and sister Kacey earned the shutout as the Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets (1-0-1) knocked off the Screven County Lady Gamecocks 5-0 on a cold Tuesday night at SEB’s Fred Shaver Field.
    The Lady Gamecocks could not take advantage of the opening kickoff as the Lady Yellow Jackets kept the ball in Screven’s territory for nearly all of the first 10 minutes of the first half. Minutes after a missed shot, Morgan Jones took a pass from DeAnn Lewis and put it in the top-left corner of the net to give SEB a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of play.
    After Jones’ goal, Screven kicked up the intensity as they were able attempt three shots-on-goal over the next four minutes, but the efforts proved fruitless and Jones was again able to connect in the 15th minute giving SEB a 2-0 lead.
    After another series of offensive efforts by Screven County, SEB bounced back once again. Jones fed the ball to sophomore Tiffany Rowe who scored the Lady Yellow Jackets’ third goal of the game.
    Jones was given another scoring opportunity right before the half on a penalty kick, but just as it looked like the ball was going to slice into the net, it bounced off of the top crossbar and sailed out of play.
    Coming into the second half with a 3-0 lead, the Lady Yellow Jackets did not let up. After a pair of shots-on-goal by Screven County, SEB was able to score again as freshman Sarah Keen took a pass from sophomore Christina Finnegan that gave the Lady Yellow Jackets a comfortable 4-0 lead in the second half’s third minute.
    At this point in the game, SEB coach Aimee Civalier started subbing liberally, as the cold was taking its toll on some of her players.
    “The basketball girls that were out here playing were cramping out in their calves,” said Civalier. “They just aren’t used to the length of the field and the more aerobic conditioning. I subbed in as much as I could when they were hurting and got them in and out whenever I could.”
    Jones, on the other hand, relished the opportunity to take advantage of the weather.
    “I love cold weather,” Jones said. “Cold weather is great for soccer, and it doesn’t affect the way I play.”
    Jones has had a rollercoaster couple of months recently. She went through knee surgery in December, signed on to play Division I soccer with Presbyterian College less than two weeks ago and in the 12th minute of the second half against SCHS Thursday, sailed a penalty kick over the heads of the defensive wall and notched in her first hat trick of the season, giving SEB a 5-0 lead.  
    Junior Kacey Jones recorded her first shutout of the season after allowing two goals in the season-opening tie against Liberty County on Tuesday.
    The Lady Yellow Jackets attempted 22 shots-on-goal while the Lady Gamecocks only managed 10.
    “I am pleased with (the girls’) effort tonight,” Civalier said. “But (tomorrow’s game) is going to be a challenge.”
    Southeast Bulloch will take on the Lady Blue Devils of Statesboro High today at 6 p.m. at Statesboro following the 4:30 p.m. junior varsity game between the two schools.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.
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