By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Saltillo’s soccer season ended earlier than the Lady Tigers thought it should have Tuesday night.
New Hope beat Saltillo 2-1 in overtime in the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs.
“We had a large senior group. New Hope’s got a good team,” Saltillo coach Eric Reynolds said. “We had an idea it was going to go to extra time and that’s what happened.”
Reagan Hern scored the deciding goal in the first 10-minute overtime.
Saturday, the Lady Trojans (16-4-1) will host Ridgeland, a 7-0 winner on Tuesday over Hernando.
“They played hard and aggressive the whole game,” Reynolds said. “She made an aggressive play in the box and was able to get a shot off.”
Saltillo (10-9) took a 1-0 lead just before the half on a nice pass between defenders from Karoline Jaggars to Alyssa Kelleyl.
Early in the second half, Kelley’s cross to Stormy Payne nearly got Saltillo on the board again but New Hope freshman keeper MacKenzie Harvey laid down to stop it.
“Anytime we can work the ball wide and send it back across is where we’ve been successful,” Reynolds said.
New Hope tied it on Ashley Martin’s penalty kick in the 50th minute.
Searcy Swain nearly gave Saltillo a go-ahead goal, but the ball went off the football goalposts before crossing the goal line.
Sophomore Saltillo keeper Abby Westmoreland prevented a tie on an attempt from Hern, a senior, before the controversial penalty kick.
Saltillo had a pair of chances just before the game ended but Shelby Bickes’ corner kick was knocked out and Miranda Chapman’s kick from the top of the box was high.