The Bainbridge High School varsity soccer teams travelled to Americus Friday night and both came back with well earned region victories over the Americus-Sumter girls’ and boys’ teams. The Lady Bear Cats prevailed 2-0, while the Bearcats won 6-2 in a fast paced contest.
In the girls game Bainbridge quickly took an early lead at 1-0, by scoring a goal in the 7th minute of play. Sophomore Lady Bearcat wing Aida Gonzales stole the ball from an Americus-Sumter defender on the right side and centered a pass the ended up with teammate Sophomore Forward Ilean Marquez finishing with a shot from 8 yards out to the left side of the goal.
Despite several Bainbridge attacks throughout the game, resulting in many Lady Cats shots on goal, the contest did not see another goal scored until the 76th minute of the second half when Bainbridge Senior Midfielder Jennifer Becerra stole an Americus-Sumter pass, at midfield, and despite being bumped along the way, dribbled through and past several defenders before taking a crossing shot from seven yards out scoring just inside the left post to complete the scoring in the game and a Lady Bearcats 2-0 victory.
BHS Girls Soccer Highlights vs. Americus-Sumter
The girls played a hustling defense, led by Sophomore Defensive Midfielders Summer Boyd and Haley Thompson, Junior Defender Jasmine Taylor, Senior defenders Lilly Gomez, Honorina Barrios, Rebecca Mulkey, and Freshman Defender Mary Mercer Reynolds. Freshman Goalkeeper Morgan Cannon preserved the shut out in the win.
Bainbridge elevated their overall record at 6-5 on the season and 5-1 in region play.
In the boys contest, Bainbridge arguably played its best overall game on the season, by defeating the Americus-Sumter Panthers 6-2 and remaining undefeated in Region play with a 6-0 record, and 8-3 overall.
The Bearcats got on the scoreboard first, in the 12th minute, as Sophomore Forward Leroy Rivera powered a direct free kick from center just outside the Panther penalty area, through a player wall and into the right post to give Bainbridge a 1-0 lead.
BHS Boys Soccer Highlights vs. Americus-Sumter
In the 15th minute Bainbridge increased their lead at 2-0, when Junior Midfielder Jesus Contreras stole a pass at the top of the Americus-Sumter penalty area and knocked in a shot from 12 yards away.
The Panthers cut the score in half in the 19th minute as a Panther forward got into the Bearcat Penalty area and worked himself through the Bainbridge defense for a seven yard shot from center, making the score 2-1 in favor of Bainbridge.
The Bearcats responded with two more goals before halftime to take a 4-1 lead. In the 28th minute, Bainbridge Junior Forward Jaycee Castro took a through pass on breakaway from Rivera and into the goal for a score from 8 yards out.
The Bainbridge High School varsity soccer teams will be in action on Tuesday, March 24 at Dougherty High School in Albany, GA, with the girls’ game starting off at 5:30 p.m.
In the 33rd minute Rivera struck again as Contreras sent a nice crossing pass in front of a Rivera run, at the six yard box, and a shot past the Panther Goal Keeper.
In the second Half cut into the Bainbridge lead again at 4-2, when Americus Sumter lofted in a Corner Kick, that was at first deflected by Bainbridge Goal Keeper Bryce Williams but the ball landed at a Panther player’s foot who quickly shot it into the goal, in the 52nd minute.
Once again Bainbridge responded, this time three minutes later, as Senior Midfielder Mauricio Granadas headed a shot into the goal from a lofted corner kick to the back side of the Americus-Sumter penalty area to surge the Bearcats lead at 5-2.
The final score of the game came in the 77th minute as Rivera took a pass on a breakaway from Contreras and converted it for a scoring shot from 12 yards away, giving him his second consecutive hat trick for Bainbridge and a 6-2 victory.
Despite the two goals allowed. Williams and the Bainbridge defense played inspired ball to keep the Panther attack under wraps. Williams garnered 13 saves as Americus-Sumter attempted 26 shots. Junior Defenders Evan Oldaker and Corey Morrison each recorded field saves in a good effort. Senior Michael Bush did a good job at Defensive mid along with Steady play by Senior Alex Ward.
Bainbridge recorded 21 shots with 13 shots on target including the 6 goals. Rivera led the attack with three goals and two assists.
The Bearcats improved their record at 8-3 on the season overall and 6-0 in region play.