Knights headed back to soccer semifinals
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Feb. 7, 2001
West Lauderdale's soccer team has built a reputation this season for scoring in a hurry.
And during the past few weeks, the Knights have been doing it in the second half.
West turned the trick again Tuesday night, scoring a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes of the match to earn a 3-1 win over Greenville-St. Joseph in the MHSAA Class 1A-2A-3A state playoffs.
The win sends West the defending state champ and the two-time defending North State champ to Jackson this weekend for the Class 1A-2A-3A semifinals.
They'll have to, because West may face its stiffest competition of the season in Friday's North State championship game. That's when the Knights go up against Corinth at 6 p.m. at Newell Field in Jackson. The Warriors are 18-2 and coming off a 2-1 win in a shootout over Senatobia Tuesday.
The loser of Friday's semifinal goes home; the winner plays for the state championship Saturday at Pearl at 11 a.m.
In Tuesday's game, West Lauderdale controlled the contest with the visiting Fighting Irish of St. Joe for the entire first half. And when the first-half whistle blew, the Knights had outshot the Irish 11-2, but led just 1-0.
The Knights got on the board eight minutes into the match when Todd Doolittle drilled a shot into the back of the net.
But St. Joe got a quick goal at the start of the second half, and the war was on.
West did so with the strength of goalie Tyler Skelton and an offense that finally found its rhythm again.
At approximately the 70-minute mark, Josh Murphy scored on a throw-in from C.J. Fountain, giving West Lauderdale the eventual game-winning goal.
The Knights weren't through, however, as Justin Daniels added a goal a couple of minutes later on a followup of a Brandon Rodgers breakaway.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.