The GPS soccer team showed off its experience on both ends of the pitch in Tuesday's hard fought home battle against Chattanooga Christian.
Senior back line defenders Megan Jones and Ally McVay stood out as they helped the Bruisers claim a 1-0 shutout in a Division II-AA East region match where GPS had a telling 22-3 shot advantage -- allowing only one shot on target.
"We have years of experience on the back line, so we know how to encourage and help the rest of the team," said Jones, who is a fourth-year starter. "We can also be playmakers. We pride ourselves on connecting with our midfielders and forwards. We are focused and are really working hard to make this a memorable season."
GPS (8-1-1) was also led by a fearsome senior front line of Sasha Carbone, Kennedy Ball and Hayden Wise, who were challenged by a youthful and budding opponent in CCS (11-2-2).
Applying steady pressure, the Bruisers finally found paydirt in the 66th minute with a connection from two youthful playmakers.
GPS vs. Chattanooga Christian on Sept. 20, 2022
Sophomore attacking midfielder Mary Wamack dished a perfect pass from the left sideline to the top of the penalty arc to find Kallie West. West, an eighth grader, made a nice move on a defender and then lofted a left-footed shot over the Lady Chargers' keeper for the game's only goal.
"We were kind of wondering if Kallie was ready because she is an eighth grader, but once we got into summer training we all could see the talent," GPS coach Patrick Winecoff said. "You could see she was two-footed, she can put texture on the ball and she just knows how to play. She had been starting at the six position to start the season and for the past three-to-four weeks she's been doing great at our number 10."
Just before West's score, Ball barely missed in front of the net on a cross-in by Carbone that was challenged by two defenders. Ball led the GPS attack with eight shots.
CCS received stellar play defensively from Hannah Montgomery, while Lauren Alexander, Haddie Griffith and Elizabeth Hightshue also stood out in the defeat.
"Megan and Allie did a really great job sorting out the middle of the field back there and talking to everyone," Winecoff said. "Farrah House (keeper) also didn't mishandle anything. Everything was really good defensively and we did a great job passing tonight."
The Bruisers lone loss of the season came against the state's top-ranked team in Bearden (10-0). GPS will return home for a big region rivalry clash with Baylor (14-3-1) next Wednesday, with first kick at 7 p.m.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.