81st minute goal keeps Pearl River’s playoff hopes alive

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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It looked like the Pearl River women’s soccer team was headed for a second draw of the year against Meridian Tuesday night, but a late goal from Sydney Salter (Vancleave) led the Wildcats to a 1-0 victory.

“Meridian was super organized tonight,” head coach Henrik Madsen said. “It was a matter of us being super patient and taking the chance when we got it. It was a big win for us in trying to push ourselves into the playoffs. An absolutely great night for us.”

Chances did not come frequently for Pearl River (6-5-1 overall; 4-3-1 MACCC South) in the first half of play, only developing a handful of chances. The best of the early chances came in the 15th minute of the contest when Aubrie Edwards (Biloxi) missed just wide.

There was not much development for the Wildcats or the Eagles (7-6-1; 5-2-1) throughout the remainder of the first half as the teams eventually entered the break scoreless.

It wasn’t until the second half of play that the scoring chances started to come.

In the 50th minute, the Wildcats earned a free kick just outside of the box. Abigail Phillips (Darlington, England.; Longfield Academy) stepped forward to take the set piece, but her shot attempt was blocked by the Meridian wall.

The Wildcats had another great chance in the 62nd minute as a cross into the box found Salter. Salter tried to handle the ball, but it deflected off her knee and rolled out of bounds.

Edwards took a shot from well outside of the box in the 64th minute, but the attempt just to the right of the goal.

Pearl River’s flurry of chances continued in the 75th minute as Katie Havard (Hurley; East Central) sailed a shot just high of the goal.

A few minutes later in the 79th, Edwards dribbled into the box and tried to cross the ball to a Wildcat forward, but the MCC keeper stepped up and plucked the cross out of the air.

Pearl River finally found its game-winner in the 81st minute of the game as Sydney Spataro (Long Beach) found Salter in the box. Despite having a defender draped all over her, Salter flicked the ball around the defender, found the ball again and smashed it to the right of the diving goalkeeper to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

Pearl River returns to the pitch Friday as Copiah-Lincoln makes its way to the PRCC Soccer Complex. The Wildcats will hold a sophomore night celebration at the match. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m. and will be livestreamed at PRCCMedia.com/gold.

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow them on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).