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Meridian dominates H.C.; tangles with Vicksburg High

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Feb. 10, 2001
JACKSON Rarely does the final score in a soccer match reflect how a match was played.
That was definitely the case with the Meridian High Lady Wildcats Friday afternoon in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 5A South State championship game.
Meridian dominated from start to finish, out-shooting Harrison Central 24-7. But the Lady Wildcats still had to hold off the Red Rebelettes in the final minutes, as MHS nipped Harrison Central 2-1 to claim the South State title and move into today's Class 5A state championship game.
Eighth-ranked Meridian, which improved to 18-3 on the season, takes on No. 9 Vicksburg today at 11 a.m., at Clinton for the 5A title. Seventh-ranked Harrison Central ended its season with a 17-3 mark.
Vicksburg advanced to the title game with a 3-1 win over top-ranked Clinton in the North State championship Friday, but Ross said it wouldn't have mattered who the Lady Wildcats faced today as they go for the school's first state soccer championship.
So is Meridian, which at times looked like it might blow Harrison Central off the field Friday.
The Lady Wildcats took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Catherine Bryan at the nine-minute mark of the first half. But Meridian didn't score again until midway through the second half.
After shots by the senior trio of Ramey Rush, Erin Brown and Julie Pollman all barely missed, Meridian finally made it 2-0 when Brown was tackled inside the box and drilled it past the goalie on the penalty kick that followed.
Rush's bullet four minutes later was blocked by Isgett, and the Lady Wildcats missed another golden opportunity when Isgett smothered an attempt by Deanna Harris.
Harrison Central got on the board at the 66th minute of the match, as Brooke Conover after a controversial ruling put it in the back of the net on a penalty kick.
That goal gave the Red Rebelettes a little momentum, but eight minutes later, Meridian goalie Sarah Denham made a nice save on the only shot Harrison Central could get off for the remainder of the game.
Today's title game will be the second trip to the state championship for Meridian's girls. The Lady Wildcats lost to Oak Grove in the state semifinals two years ago, and saw a dream season come to an end in last year's quarterfinals with a loss at Northwest Rankin.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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