Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 10, 2012

Vikettes fall in 2nd round

VALDOSTA — The Region 1-AAAAA champion Lowndes Vikettes saw their season come to an end Wednesday night with a 2-0 loss to Collins Hill in the second round of the state soccer playoffs.

“I think our girls left it all on the field,” Lowndes head coach Chris Willis said. “It was a great battle. We were just overmatched in certain areas.”

Collins Hill dominated nearly every facet of the game, managing 31 shots on goal while holding Lowndes to just two. But despite dominating in shots on goal, Collins Hill found itself in a scoreless tie with the Vikettes heading into the 72nd minute. That is when freshman Desiree Bowen put the   Eagles onto the scoreboard and essentially into the quarterfinals.

Bowen’s goal was set up by a pass down the left sideline that put her a few steps ahead of the Lowndes defense and into position for the goal that just got past Lowndes goalie Allison Liu.

Just minutes after taking a 1-0 lead, Collins Hill iced the game with a goal from Mariah Dickey, who scored from just steps in front of the goal.

According to Willis, Lowndes was plagued by not being ready to play such a high-caliber opponent, saying Collins Hill is able to play teams at a high level on a much more consistent basis.

“They play at a higher level in the offseason, and in that region, Region 7, they are used to playing teams like them,” said Willis. “They are used to playing at that pace. We get down here and we get comfortable with our opponents. In the end, every little thing, Collins Hill was able to capitalize.”

With the win, Collins Hill will face either Lassiter or Kennesaw Mountain in the state quarterfinals, while the Vikettes finish the season with a 15-2-2 record.

“After losing in overtime last year, our players have been looking to get back and get redemption,” said Willis. “But I feel good about the 15-2-2 record, and I told the girls to keep their heads up.”

Despite allowing two goals, Liu played phenomenal, as she was given little time to rest due to Collins Hill’s never-ending offensive attack.

Liu was all over the net, making several big saves throughout the game, and especially in the first half, when Lowndes managed just two minutes of play in its own end.

Liu’s best save of the game came with 17 minutes remaining, when Collins Hill’s Dena Cisic fired a shot from 30 yards out that forced Liu to go diving to her left to make the save.

“(Liu) probably saw more shots tonight than all year,” said Willis. “She was phenomenal. She never got winded and she kept her cool. I don’t really know a better goalie in the state of Georgia. She is something special.”

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