It has been eight seasons without a win against Eastside for the Lady Dogs' soccer team. The JV beat them in their first game earlier in the season, but this was the first ever win for Suwannee's varsity girls against the tough Eastside women's soccer team. They took Eastside out 2-1.
The SHS Lady Bulldogs varsity and junior varsity soccer teams went on the road last week for three big matches and ended the week with three wins. The varsity team has posted a 9-1 record overall and is 2-0 in the district. The JV remains undefeated at 8-0.
On Monday SHS faced Ft. White and won both games big. The JV won 8-0 with goals from the following players: Sara Dunaway (3), Stacey Tuttle (2), Nicki Johnson, Katie Downey and Lisa Davis. The varsity posted a 5-0 score led by Ashley Harris with 2 goals, while Caroline Wood, Stephanie Starling, and Kelsey Bowen each had one goal.
Tuesday saw the Lady Dogs facing Eastside in Gainesville. The JV handed Eastside a 2-0 loss with a goal from Sara Dunaway on an assist from Lisa Davis and LeAnn Decker scored on a corner kick served in by Nicki Johnson.
In the varsity match, the Lady Dogs faced an Eastside team they have never beaten in the eight previous seasons of Suwannee soccer. Suwannee took the lead early on a goal by Ashley Harris, who got a beautiful through pass from fellow freshman Kelsey Bowen and slotted it just inside the near post as the goalie came out to challenge her.
The second goal for SHS came when a penalty kick was awarded for a foul in the box and Bowen stepped up and knocked down what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Eastside scored with 30 seconds remaining in the first half on a free kick at the top of the box. Suwannee had several close scoring opportunities in the second half but didn't score any more goals, while the defense shut down the powerful Eastside offense and the game ended with SHS claiming a 2-1 win. Coach Kathy Wood was very pleased by her team's play and said, "Beating Eastside has been a goal of our program from the beginning. They used to beat us 10-0 in one half. We saw it as positive when we were able to keep them from "mercy ruling" us in a game. The next milestone was when we were able to score one or two goals on them in losing efforts. But we have proven that our team is ready to step up to the next level, and we're not ready to stop."
In the only district match of the week, Suwannee traveled to Tallahassee for a match with the Florida High Seminoles. The JV posted a 2-0 win against a young, tenacious Florida High team. Nicki Johnson scored both goals for the JV in a match that was much closer than the score indicated.
The varsity took the field as the temperature started dropping and the wind picked up. Florida High scored first on a breakaway goal that caught the defense off guard. Ashley Harris quickly evened the score with a goal off an assist from Debra Craig. Craig added a goal of her own minutes later when Harris dropped a pass to her, and Craig launched a long shot that went over the keeper's head and into the back of the net.
The second half saw the Lady Dogs heading in to a stiff breeze that quickly turned into a near gale force wind. Balls kicked into the air by the Lady Dogs were literally held up and pushed back towards the kicker. The unpredictable winds made the final 20 minutes of the game exciting to say the least, but Suwannee escaped with a 2-1 win and their second district victory.
Suwannee hosts Newberry on Monday, Dec. 15 in a non-district match and faces Hamilton at home on Friday, Dec. 19. Come out and support this awesome girls' soccer team. Go Lady Dogs!