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4-for-4: Social Circle girls soccer blank East Laurens to remain on state title path
SC Final Four bound
Faith Young (10) and Macy Williams (6) rush over to help Peyton Brooks (2) and Aubrey Spruell (15) celebrate Spruell's goal with 15:40 remaining in Monday's home match against East Laurens. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — It was a 4-for-4 for Social Circle girls soccer Monday afternoon. Four goals scored were enough to send the Lady Redskins to the Final Four. 

Based on the Lady Redskins’ effort down the stretch would suggest that the scoreboard was flipped. 

Offensive players continually pressured the Lady Falcons’ defense firing shot after shot. Maintaining that aggressive approach is part of the Lady Redskins’ scheme. 

“It’s part of our game plan,” head coach Heather Richardson said. “You gotta keep going and keep playing strong, because you’re always preparing for the next game. There’s no reason to slow down.” 

Social Circle’s game plan seemed to make all the difference. 

Leading 1-0 at halftime, the Lady Redskins quickly doubled the advantage in the opening minutes of the second half. 

Peyton Brooks found just enough space around two Lady Falcon defenders to net a goal at the 35:14 mark. Brooks assisted on the next goal. 

Off a corner kick, Brooks found Faith Young in front of the goal. Young proceeded to connect on a header to score her eighth goal of the season. 

Less than three minutes of action passed when Aubrey Spruell added to Social Circle’s lead with a long shot attempt that floated to the top right corner of the net. East Laurens’ goalie attempted to stop the ball, but to no avail. 

With the Lady Redskins’ three second half goals, the first half scoring struggles became a distant memory. 

There were many instances where Brooks and Young tried to connect for a header goal off a corner kick, but the shot would be blocked or narrowly missed. Alana Ferguson continued her energetic offensive pursuit, but could never get the ball in the back of the net. 

At one point in the first half, Jada Forgay almost scored back-to-back goals. However, neither attempt was successful. Her second goal slowly rolled closer to the goal and was inches away from going in.

It wasn’t until the 1:50 mark of the first half when the Lady Redskins found pay dirt. 

Brooks scored her first goal of the match to get her team on the board. 

Previously, Richardson labeled Social Circle’s initial goal of  any match as a “confidence booster.” But she pointed to the second half aggressiveness as a way to get that inaugural goal sooner. 

“We need to step up our intensity from the very beginning,” Richardson said. “I think we played really hard but, as soon as we score a goal, it’s like we step it up even more. I think it’s a confidence thing. We have to find that confidence from the very beginning.” 

Now, Social Circle (14-5) sets its sights on the Final Four of the Class A-Division I playoffs with a date at Paideia (13-1) on Thursday, April 27. 

The Lady Pythons are the No. 1 seed out of Region 6A-Division I. Their path to the Final Four has featured a 10-0 win over Jasper County, an 8-0 triumph against Darlington and a victory over Lamar County Monday night. 

Paideia also rides a 14-game winning streak into Thursday’s match. The Lady Pythons haven’t lost since an 8-0 defeat in their season opener at St. Pius on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Concerning the Lady Redskins’ approach, Richardson said nothing significant will change. They’ll just return their focus to the basics. 

“We just need to hone in on the fundamentals,” Richardson said. “And that intensity we have after we score a goal, we have to have that from the very beginning. 100%.”