By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
Florence jumped ahead of Amory early in each of Tuesday’s opening-round MHSAA Class 4A playoff matches in a sweep of the Panthers and Lady Panthers.
Florence entered the matches each ranked in the Clarion Ledger’s Top 10.
The Lady Panthers fell 5-0 before the Panthers ended their season with a 3-0 loss against the team that beat them in last season’s 4A finals match.
Six minutes in, the Lady Panthers were down a goal and trailed 2-0 by the 23rd minute. Florence led 3-0 at the half.
“They had a lot of speed up top and did a good job running on the ball,” Amory coach Nathan Clayton said. “They capitalized on opportunities they had around the box. We had trouble getting the ball up top to Addie (Forbus).
The Lady Eagles improved to 15-3-4. Amory fell to 15-5-1.
Clayton credited sophomore keeper Shelby Thornton with several key saves against an attacking opponent. Forbus, a junior Ole Miss commit, led the state in goals last season with 52 and ends this season with 41 despite missing four games.
The Panthers saw the host Eagles (15-5-3) score first in the 14th minute and take a 3-0 lead by intermission. Brandon King scored twice for the Eagles.
Amory (10-12-1) loses seven seniors, four boys including highly-recruited Zach Khima, who led the state with 57 goals last season.
“We played very hard,” Clayton said. “We had a couple of guys go down with injuries and the guys we put out there kept playing hard.
Amory senior Amanda Segovia left the game with a face fracture and the Panthers lost starters Evan Thomas and Josh Tomlin to injury.