The Huntland High School Lady Hornets beat the Richland Lady Raiders 5-1 at home Tuesday in a semifinal game for their district tournament.
The Lady Hornets overcame an early deficit to find an equalizer in the first half and pulled away in the final 20 minutes of the second half to move on to the finals of the district bracket.
Huntland head soccer coach Amanda Tipps said her team overcame some early nerves to start their postseason off on the right foot.
“The first one is the hardest one,” she said, referring to the importance placed on the first game of a tournament. “I think we came out with a lot of nerves, and it just took us a while to get settled in. We finally got it going in the second half.”
The Lady Raiders would score the first goal of the day as they knocked a shot into the net after a free kick to take a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest.
The Lady Hornets had a few close misses midway through the first half with shots by Sade Tablas and Hazel Reed narrowly missing the mark.
Kathryn Reed would give the Lady Hornets the tying score they were looking for as she arced a free kick over everybody’s heads and into the right corner of the net to tie the score with 10 minutes left in the first half. The goal was Kathryn Reed’s sixth of the year.
The score was tied at 1-1 at halftime.
Hazel Reed nearly gave the Lady Hornets the lead about six minutes into the second half when she appeared to score off of a pass from Logan McLennan, but the goal was nullified due to an offsides penalty. Richland’s goalkeeper was injured during the play and would not return to the game.
The Lady Hornets would break through for their first lead of the day with about 15 minutes remaining as Raegen Johnson deflected a corner kick from Logan McLennan into the net for her second goal of the season.
That goal would open up the floodgates for Huntland’s offense as McLennan scored off of an assist from Hazel Reed 40 seconds later to make it a 3-1 game.
Hazel Reed then scored a few minutes later off of an assist from Zaria Ford as her 20th goal of the season put the lead at 4-1 with 12 minutes remaining.
McLennan added one more goal with nine minutes to play as she maneuvered around Richland’s overextended goalkeeper for her second score of the day and her 12th of the season.
The Lady Raiders would not be able to offer a response on offense as the Lady Hornets won by four.
With the win, the Lady Hornets improved to 13-1-2 on the season.
They will next play Thursday at home against Culleoka High School in their district championship game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.