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Girls' soccer: SHS, SEHS finish even

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    For 75 minutes, the Lady Blue Devils of Statesboro looked to be in total control of their foes from South Effingham. Unfortunately for SHS, the physicality of Tuesday night’s non-region match finally got the best of them.
    TJ Raines’ penalty kick in the 76th minute tied the game at one, and the teams would play to a 1-1 draw at Womack Field. Statesboro had led for 54 minutes until Raines planted her shot just past Devil keeper Christa Mitchell.
    “It just goes to show you that no matter what’s going on in the game anything can happen,” said SHS coach Andrew Hansen. “I felt like we were pressuring the whole game but began to get hesitant. When you get hesitant that’s showing weakness.”
    Raines was fouled just inside the top left corner of the penalty box, setting up the eventual game-tying goal.
    It was the climax of a second half that was until that point anti-climactic. The Blue Devils (2-0-2) managed just one shot on goal in the second half and South Effingham managed just two. Mitchell made back-to-back saves in the 56th and 57th minute to keep Statesboro’s advantage 1-0.
    Becca Babot scored Statesboro’s only tally when she put home a shot in the 23rd minute of the first half. Babot’s free kick from just outside and to the right of the box found a Mustang defender and bounced back out to Babot. The midfielder took aim again and bent the ball into the top right corner of the net to give SHS a 1-0 lead.
    “We’ve been playing better as a team, but I think we’ve had better showing’s than today. If this is going to be what happens on our worst showing, than that makes me very optimistic,” said Hansen. “It lets me know that even when we’re not playing well, we’ve got a lot in us.”
    South Effingham controlled the first 20 minutes of the contest, with forward Loralee Powell running amok through the SHS defense. Powell had two shots on goal in the first 15 minutes, but was denied each time by Mitchell.
    Statesboro returns to the pitch Friday when they host Evans in a region 3-AAAA contest at 5 p.m.
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