A non-region game against a stellar Savannah Country Day squad proved to be too tall an order for the Statesboro girls soccer team as they dropped a 5-1 decision Thursday night at Womack Field.
The Lady Hornets (6-1-1) got a pair of goals from Chandler Royals as three of her teammates also found the back of the net.
“Tonight was a little disappointing for us,” SHS coach Brian Thomas said. “We had about a 20-minute span where we just didn’t play well enough. I thought that we created some chances and played well in the second half, but when you play good teams, you can’t afford to slip like that.”
Action came fast and furious early on as all six goals were scored in the first half of play.
Brenna Nugara put the Hornets ahead in the opening minutes, but Chelsea Wilson leveled things up for the Blue Devils (4-8). Wilson unleashed a shot that SCD goalkeeper Savannah Droud was able to save, but Wilson gathered in the rebound and her second attempt found the goal.
Royals put the Hornets ahead for good with a strike off a corner kick.
As the final minutes of the first half ticked down, Savannah Country Day unleashed a string of goals that put the game well out of reach.
Royals dribbled through traffic to record her second strike of the match while Bre Carney and Caroline Jackson followed suit for the Hornets. In a span of just over 10 minutes, SCD stretched its lead from a close one-goal margin to an insurmountable four-goal halftime advantage.
Destiny Lanier was the victim of the onslaught as she allowed all five goals for the Devils. Lanier has been a stalwart in goal for Statesboro, but open looks allowed for surgical strikes by the Country Day offense.
“We talked about limiting offensive opportunities right before the game,” Thomas said. “That’s what happens. If you give good enough teams room, they’re going to put shots on net that are tough to stop.”
While the loss was disheartening for the Devils, there are much bigger games on the horizon.
A showdown with South Effingham rounds out the Devils’ sub-region schedule this weekend and a win over the rival Mustangs combined with a bit of help could earn Statesboro a No. 2 seed at the Region 3-AAAA tournament in two weeks.
“That’s our main focus,” Thomas said. “It would be great to get a little momentum going. Hopefully we can get ourselves a home game in the region tournament and see what we can accomplish from there.”
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.