SUMRALL – Despite having a rollercoaster season that’s been filled with COVID-19 quarantines and injuries, Sumrall put its woes behind as the Lady Bobcats defeated Greene County 5-0 on Monday night.
In fact, Sumrall’s playoff game was just the third time this season the Lady Bobcats have played with their entire starting lineup.
“It was a good win for us,” Sumrall coach Todd Siders said. “It looked like we hadn’t played in a week at times with COVID, weather and injuries with everything else going on. It’s been inconsistent for us. Our record is not what it wanted to be, but if you look at our schedule, we really played a gauntlet this year to prepare us for these moments.”
Sumrall (11-9-2) scored two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game. The Lady Bobcats’ leading scorer from last season, Addie Siders, had only played in 10 games this season due to an ankle injury and COVID issues. But the freshman scored the Lady Bobcats’ first goal in the fourth minute of the match as Siders got a wide-open shot.
Three minutes later, Ashton Stringfellow, who has stepped up in Siders’ absence, then delivered a goal after the ball ricocheted off Greene County’s goalkeeper and tapped in the goal.
“The first goal was just a good job of moving the ball side to side,” Todd Siders said. “Addie gets wide open at the top of 18. We found her, and she did what she was supposed to do and put the ball in the back of the net. Another one was Ashton just doing what Ashton does. She hustles everywhere. It deflects off the keeper, and she was able to put it in.
“Depth has really shined. Ashton Stringfellow has become a star for us.”
In the second half, seventh-grader Presley Kirkland put the game out of reach as she added two more goals in the 38th minute and the 70th minute.
“Presley Kirkland has been rock solid for us,” Todd Siders said. “She has dynamic features and a lot of athleticism. Sometimes she struggles finishing, but when she finishes, we are dangerous.
Finally, just before time expired, Grace Cooley scored a goal on a free-kick.
“In a way, we are still trying to put the little pieces together,” Todd Siders said. “I think you can see Ashton and Addie, and the attacking mids are still trying to get some chemistry built up. I think that’s going to come. We are going to need that Saturday because they are deadly when they are working together.”
Sumrall now advances to the second round of the 4A playoffs and will host Stone County on Saturday.
“We have to play our best because I think everybody would agree that Stone is probably the favorite,” Todd Siders said. “Not to only win the South but could win it all. We have to play our best on Saturday. We are looking forward to it. It’s a good matchup. We just have to play well.
“If you are going to make it a championship, you have to beat the Stones. It’s a tough road, but that’s why we played the schedule that we played so we can get ready for these games.”