Photo/James Pugh

West Jones was in a position to manage the game late in the second half. Even after West Harrison’s late goal Saturday afternoon at home narrowed a two-goal lead the Lady Mustangs soccer team previously held. Senior forward Bre Carr put the match away in the 77th minute with a goal that pushed West Jones back in front two goals, 3-1. It ended as such. 

“If you have a lead late in the game, you manage your time and where you play the ball,” said West Jones girls soccer coach Craig Winship. “I felt like we did all of that today. They did get that late penalty kick but Bre Carr, an all-star, steps up and blast one into the corner of the net to put us back in front by two goals.”

West Jones advances to the Class 5A South State Championship game scheduled for Tuesday night at Long Beach. 

“Long Beach is an outstanding team,” added Winship. “We got a chance to watch them play Friday night against South [Jones], and they’re solid top to bottom. It will take our best effort, so we’ll get back to the drawing board and see what we can do. Maybe we can show them something they haven’t seen already.”

After a solid first half, winning percentages were in West Jones’ favor. Two goals and a solid defensive half gave the Lady Mustangs a cushioned 2-0 lead. West Harrison converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to make things interesting. Carr sealed the match a few short minutes later.

“Man, that was the turning point,” Winship stated. “Because we had just begun to talk about playing wide and keeping it in the corners. But Carr saw an option. She had already taken one to the flag, but she saw a hole and took it. It was the dagger. I liked it.”

The win improves West Jones’ overall record to 14-7 and sends the Soso Lady Stangs to their first Class 5A South State Championship since 2015 when they played West Harrison and lost. 

Their opponent this go around – Long Beach (14-6-2) – knocked off South Jones at home, 1-0, on Friday night. An official game time has yet to be set.