GPS soccer coach Leland Strang thought about mentioning to her team that the last time the Bruisers faced Pope John Paul II in the first round of the Division II-AA state playoffs, it was the Lady Knights who came out victorious. But she didn't have to. Her team was busy discussing it among themselves.
They made sure it didn't happen again Saturday.
The Bruisers received a pair of goals from Izzy Phillips and cruised to the state quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory. GPS (11-3-1) will travel to Harpeth Hall this week with a shot at the state tournament on the line.
Senior Abbi Harr said the team remembered the previous loss to PJP.
"It wasn't a good feeling, and we talked about it in the locker room before the game and wanted to make sure it didn't happen again," Harr said. "I think that we came together as a team today and played like the team we could be. We supported and communicated a lot."
Taylor Walden scored in the 23rd minute after a free kick by Josie Love Roebuck, and Phillips added her two goals in the second half, with assists credited to Walden and Akia Harris.
"They played a 4-5-1 formation and really clogged the middle, and we weren't doing a good job of spreading out," Strang said. "We had to figure out how to get behind them. We weren't as aggressive as we were on Tuesday [against Baylor], but I thought cooler heads prevailed in the end."
Savannah Williams was credited with one save for the Bruisers.
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.
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