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Lady Blue Devils drop heartbreaker to Trojans

Tanner Cook • May 25, 2018 at 2:05 AM

GATE CITY — It was a tale of two halves for the Gate City girls soccer team Thursday evening in the Mountain 7 District tournament final at Legion Field.

John Battle won a thriller, 2-1, when Bella Jessee netted a goal with 14.4 seconds left in the second overtime, securing the No. 1 seed for the Lady Trojans in next week’s Region 2D tournament.

“We came out flat,” Lady Blue Devils coach Mary Beth Vaughn said. “This team has a lot of fight and a lot of heart. It showed in the second half and they laid it all on the field.”

The first half was a struggle for both sides, neither finding much offense and nearly splitting time of possession.

Both teams had opportunities but couldn’t convert until Battle’s Michaela Monk buried a penalty kick into the back of the net in the 39th minute after being fouled in the box.

The goal appeared as though it would hold up until Gate City standout Callie McMurray sneaked one past goalkeeper Callie Haderer to knot the match at 1-all with 2:07 left in regulation.

“Immediately, I saw the girls get down,” said Battle coach Colleen Shirey. “We were kind of lucky the game was ending so that we could talk to them and pump them back up.

“Bella’s goal at the end was beautiful. It was perfectly placed. The hard work is finally starting to show.”

The Lady Devils had a golden opportunity in the second overtime when McMurray got free near the 15-yard line, but a Battle player stepped in front of her and altered the shot.

In the consolation game, Lauren Webb scored two goals — both off Taylor Gentry assists — and Wise Central beat Lee 2-0. Stephanie Whitfield recorded five saves for the Lady Warriors.

All four teams move on to the regional tournament. Gate City and John Battle will host matches Tuesday, while Central and Lee will travel.

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