MERIDIAN, Miss. After a 2-1 win over Starkville Academy at home, the Lamar girls soccer team punched their ticket to Saturday's MAIS Class AAAA, Division II Championship Game at Jackson Prep.
The Lady Raiders, who won three straight titles between 2015-17, will face Hartfield Academy after both teams won in the semifinals.
Goals by Annie Monsour in the second minute and Emma Kate Uithoven in the 46th minute combined with strong defense proved to be the difference maker that made the team one step closer to another state title.
Following Monsour’s goal, Lamar spent most of the first half in Starkville Academy’s territory, working to find the back of the net. Monsour's goal would be the only point in the first half as the Lady Raiders took a 1-0 lead into intermission.
But Lamar would strike again early in the second half.
Six minutes in, the Lady Raiders made it 2-0 when Sarah Pierce Swift dribbled towards Starkville Academy's goal before finding an open Uithoven for the score.
As the cliché goes, 2-0 is the worst lead a team can have but Lamar tried to maintain that lead as Starkville looked to make something happen on offense.
In the 68th minute, the Volunteers Lauren Bock scored to cut the lead to one. With a chance at the championship on the line, the Lady Raiders had to maintain their composure in the final few minutes. After executing on offense with several shots on goal, the clock hit zero and Lamar's postseason run stayed alive.
The Lady Raiders will play at 4 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Prep against Hartfield Academy who beat East Rankin Academy 7-1 in their semifinal matchup.