The Statesboro girls dropped a tough region contest as Greenbrier walked away with a 5-1 victory Tuesday evening at Womack Field.
The Lady Blue Devils (3-3, 2-3 Region 2-AAAA) fought hard throughout the game, but Greenbrier’s relentless attack kept Statesboro from mounting any big scoring threats.
The Lady Wolfpack (7-0, 5-0) used its superb midfielders and forwards to control the pace of the game.
"Greenbrier is just a very, very good team," said SHS coach Brian Thomas. "They kept us busy all night on defense. It’s hard to get anything going offensively when you can’t get control of the ball."
Greenbrier got the scoring going early from long range.
In the 11th minute, Carly Ray lined up a free kick from 35 yards out and sailed it just over the outstretched arms of Statesboro goalkeeper Makayla Patterson for the game’s first goal.
The Wolfpack continued to dominate ball possession until the 20th minute when a cross found Krissy Lewis just outside of the SHS 18-yard box. Lewis launched a high, soft shot that was almost identical to Ray’s goal in getting just beyond the reach of Patterson.
Long distance strikes continued to plague the Devils late in the first half as Ray sent a throw-in all the way in front of the SHS net and several deflections sent the ball bouncing into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Despite the lopsided score, Thomas was pleased with the defensive effort from his team.
Greenbrier spent the majority of the game with the ball in its possession, yet rarely advanced into the Statesboro 18-yard box and didn’t manage any scoring opportunities from close range.
"Our back line did a very good job tonight," said Thomas. "Greenbrier scored on some nice set plays and a couple of perfectly placed shots. You try your best, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do to defend against those sorts of things. We did a good job of defending on the ball and did a better job of getting possession in the second half."
With the loss, the Lady Devils sink to 2-3 in region play, but are done with one of the toughest stretches of their schedule.
Two early wins against Effingham County and South Effingham loom large as Statesboro will have to jockey for position in the standings as the second round of sub-region play comes around.
"We’re looking forward to the next few games," said Thomas. "Obviously, the teams that we beat the first time around will be gunning for us, but I also think that we can get a win against a few of the teams that we came up short against the first time."
Greenbrier struck again off of a set piece when Patterson deflected Katie Belser’s 46th minute corner kick, but Katie Harold was there to put in the rebound.
The Wolfpack rounded out the scoring in the 66th minute as a long pass got behind the Statesboro defense and Belser just beat a charging Patterson to the ball, slipping it past for a 5-0 margin.
The Devils finally got onto the scoreboard in the 74th minute when Thompson’s corner kick found the foot of Taylor Sarratt who put it home.
Statesboro will try to bounce back as the Devils hit the road to take on Savannah Country Day at 5 p.m.
Greenbrier 5, Statesboro 1
The Greenbrier boys topped Statesboro by the same margin in Tuesday’s nightcap.
The Blue Devils put a scare into the Wolfpack early when Timmy Price knocked in a long throw-in from Grey Downs for a 1-0 SHS advantage, but Greenbrier responded with two late first half goals for a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Greenbrier continued to roll in the second half as the Devil defense wore down and the Wolfpack put away three more goals for the decisive victory.
With the loss, the Devils dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in Region 2-AAAA play.
Statesboro will try to bounce back Friday as it hosts Camden County.
Friday’s game was originally scheduled for Womack Field, but has been moved to the club fields at the RAC on Georgia Southern’s campus.
Friday's game is slated for 6 p.m.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.