Lady Panthers win playoff opener

By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal

AMORY – The Amory Lady Panthers are a win away from going where no Amory girls team has gone before.

With Monday night’s 3-0 win against visiting Center Hill, Amory advanced to the second round of the 2010 MHSAA Class 4A state soccer playoffs.

No Lady Panther team, this one the Division 3-4A champion, has been to a North State game.

The game was scoreless at the half.

“We didn’t get very good angles with our shots in the first half,” Amory coach Nathan Clayton said. “Our ball movement was much better in the second half and we had much better quality shots.”

The first goal came in the 46th minute courtesy of freshman Addie Forbus. Senior Lara Evans’ free kick sailed perfectly under the right post from 30 yards out in the 57th minute for a 2-0 lead.

“We knew if we ever got that first one, there were going to be some others to follow,” Clayton said. “These girls kept playing. We got the other one right there at the end. We were still going full gear.”

In the final minute, senior Courtney Baker scored to put the game out of reach for good for Amory (14-4-2), which will now either host Newton County or travel to New Albany on Saturday.

Amory has beaten both teams, Newton County 1-0 in an early season Pontotoc Tournament and New Albany, Clayton’s former team, twice.

Center Hill coach Darrow Anderson said the first goal gave Amory the push it needed.

“It gave them the momentum switch,” Anderson said. “They’re a good team. They finished shots and we didn’t.”

Amory out-shot Center Hill 26-6, with only two of the six shots coming in the second half for the Lady Mustangs (10-9-2).

Amory senior Lindsey Boyd had two assists in the win.