Less than three minutes into regulation of Wednesday’s girls’ soccer Class AAAAAA playoff game between Parkview and South Forsyth, Lady War Eagles goalkeeper Hannah Goudy made a highlight reel save, diving across the goal line for a crucial stop.
South hoped that save would turn momentum in its favor. Instead, Parkview’s early pressure became a sign of things to come.
The Lady Panthers controlled the tempo through the majority of the first round one game, hanging a 2-0 loss over an injury-depleted South squad.
Junior Morgan Fleming scored for Parkview 20:56 into the first half, giving her team a lead it didn’t relinquish. Parkview scored again with only 17:33 left in regulation, all but sealing South’s fate.
“I thought we did really well,” Lady War Eagle head coach Tom Braun said. “We gave it our all, and that’s all you can ask. We went through a lot of ups and downs this year, but we all clicked and had a great run.”
Though Goudy was beat twice, she was easily South’s best player on the field. If not for her strong effort, the final score would have been far more lopsided.
She didn’t exactly get much help on defense, particularly down the stretch. Parkview’s second goal only came after Goudy was left out to dry after making two terrific saves in a row.
The Lady War Eagles’ inability to clear the ball on that play stripped them of the chance to mount a comeback.
“Obviously there were some [shots] I would have liked to stop,” Goudy said, “but that’s OK. I thought I played well, and I’m proud of myself.”
“Hannah was great in net,” Braun said. “She kept us closer than it could have been. She’s been with us for three years and has been stellar. She plays even better during big games and came up big today time and time again making save after save. That kept us in the ballgame, which was tremendous.”
Missing the services of Blakely McDonald, Meagan Postell and Jenny Lins, who were all out with various ailments, South struggled to generate much offensive pressure. The Lady War Eagles only put two shots on net all day — neither of which forced difficult saves.
That output was simply not enough to combat Parkview’s high-octane attack.
Halftime presented South with the opportunity to regroup, but the break only further energized Parkview, who tallied three quality chances in the opening minutes of the second.
“We fought as hard as we could. It just didn’t go our way,” Braun said. “It’s always disappointing to leave early, but it was a tough draw. We knew they would be a high-quality team.”
The Lady War Eagles were hoping this game would lead to revenge, as Parkview eliminated them in the Final Four of last season’s Class AAAAAA playoffs en route to a state championship.
Unfortunately, this rematch led to the same result.
“It was a tough draw,” Braun added. “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. They’re the defending state champs, and we knew they’d be a quality team.
“When you work hard, that’s all you can ask for. Someone’s got to lose, and you can accept it between when you leave it between the lines. That’s about all you can do.”