RIDGELAND, Miss. (WTOK) - The West Lauderdale girls soccer team avenged their 2018 state championship triple-overtime loss with a 3-0 victory over Florence Saturday afternoon.
Since the loss last season, the players not only wanted to claim this year’s title, but wanted to defeat Florence in the process.
Senior Caroline Green scored the team’s first goal in the eighth minute Saturday afternoon and spoke about the team’s mission this season.
“This season we really were on the come-back season and we worked really hard…we wanted to play them again we wanted this to be a game against Florence,” Green said. “We wanted revenge and we knew we were the better team and that we were going to come out and win today and play hard.”
The team’s leading scorer, Ember Temple, headed the ball into the net in the first half, putting the Lady Knights up 2-0. She felt that since the state championship loss a year ago, the team continued to improve.
“It feels like we got 100% better from the last time we played them and we really played like a team,” Temple said. “It means a whole lot. All season we worked for this, so to actually be able to make it here and win it, it means 100%.”
The championship is the crowning achievement in a 24-0-3 season – one that saw the Lady Knights ranked not only as the top team in the state, but as one of the premier teams in the country, according to many national rankings.
This is the Lady Knights’ third state championship in the last four seasons, yet head coach Alex George says this team is one of his most memorable for their character as much as for their talent.
“They are the most selfless group of players I’ve ever coached and I just, I knew going into it at the beginning of the season that this team was it,” George said. “They were the best – probably one of the best teams I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach.”
The West Lauderdale boys team competed for the 4A title against Richland immediately after the conclusion of the girls’ game. After scoring the game’s first goal, the Knights gave up two unanswered goals to fall, 2-1. The boys finished the season with a 21-7-2 record.