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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / GPS's Ashley Grant is stopped in close by Father Ryan goalkeeper Allison Kirchoff.
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GPS falls to Father Ryan in Division II-AA state semifinals

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Girls Preparatory School soccer team unleashed a flurry of shots late on a mud-ridden field Thursday but could not prevent Father Ryan from gaining revenge.

High-percentage shots from Bruisers standouts Kennedy Ball and Ashley Grant were turned away late as the Lady Irish preserved a 3-1 victory in the Division II-AA semifinals after falling in last year's title match 3-2 to GPS.

"We need to be proud of the effort we put forward against a very good Father Ryan team," GPS coach Patrick Winecoff said. "Our girls were all over it in the last 20 minutes. Our shots just didn't go in. The goalie made some good saves and we had a couple we would normally finish, but there was not much else we could do given the field conditions."

Despite the slick field at the Richard Siegel complex, Father Ryan was able to create pressure as Hannah Morton, Bradie West and Kelly Tuerff combined for 15 shots and scored a goal each. The Lady Irish will face Briarcrest Christian in today's championship match.

GPS (17-3) found itself down 2-0 in the 24th minute but answered shortly after as Sasha Carbone drilled a shot that glanced off the right end of the crossbar into the net in the 27th minute.

Coming into the state tournament averaging 4.5 goals per game, the Bruisers attack was held down by a tough defense and a drenched field. Both sides had well-struck shots die rolling through the mud.

Grant fired off four shots for the Bruisers and just missed on two scores as she had a shot sail just above the crossbar in the first half and had another one saved by a deflection late.

The Bruisers had 15 players on the roster who did not play in last year's state championship victory.

After the match GPS players embraced their two seniors, Alex Magill and Meg Priest.

"We will miss Meg and Alex," Winecoff said. "Their leadership has been awesome. They did a great job keeping us grounded and helped a super young team. We are thankful for all they have done."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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