The Southeast Bulloch Lady Jacket soccer team had yet another game come down to the wire and once again they were able to pull out a nail biter, escaping with a 2-1 victory over Tattnall County which put them into the Elite-8 of the state playoffs for the only the second time in school history.
With the game tied at 1-1 Annabelle Morgan played a great through ball to Daisy Davis who sprinted ahead of the pack, stopped and fired from about 15-yards away past the keeper for the game winning goal.
“What a great game,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Kristen Barnhill. “Tattnall came out with a lot of intensity and a great game plan to counter what we try to do. It took us most of the first half to figure out what they were doing and what we needed to do against them. We made some adjustments at halftime that really paid off for us.”
The Jackets started the scoring off a free kick by Davis which was deflected by the Tattnall keeper right to Morgan who put it in for a 1-0 Southeast Bulloch lead. Tattnall answered with a goal by Amber Mauldin to send the game into the half tied at 1-1.
“Annabelle had a great game for us at outside midfielder,” said Barnhill. “She has been working hard to improve her game and it really showed tonight. I'm so happy for her, that she was able to put in that first goal.”
The Jackets defense put down the clamps in the second half as they held the Warriors scoreless despite a number of scoring opportunities. Goalkeeper Jena Burnsed also came through with eight saves.
“I think our defenders really stepped up in the second half,” said Barnhill. “Gracie Burgin, Nia Melton, and the rest of the defense were able to shut down a great offensive team that had been scoring close to five goals per game. Daisy Davis had another outstanding game for us up top. She put a lot of pressure on their defense and buried one in the back of the net when we needed it the most.”
The Jackets should have their hands full next week as they travel to No. 1 ranked Westminster for the state quarterfinals on Tuesday.
“I'm so proud of what this team has been able to accomplish this season,” said Barnhill. “They just don't give up. No matter what, they fight until the end. These girls play so hard and want to win every time they step on the field. I think that's the difference between this year and previous years in winning these games against good teams. We've learned over the years what it's like to win and what it takes to win. These juniors and seniors got a taste of it two years ago when we finally broke through and made it to the Elite-8 in 2019. We know we will have an uphill battle against Westminster as they have won the most state titles in Georgia history, but I know the girls will give all they have.”