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Lady Redskins down Mount Vernon to make another championship appearance
Sc Soccer 2024
Lady Redskins' players embrace after the final seconds ticked off the clock of their Final Four win over Mount Vernon. - photo by Garrett Pitts

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — For the second time in three seasons, the Social Circle Lady Redskins are going to the state championship.

A 5-3 victory over Mount Vernon in the Final Four at home set up the Lady Redskins with a match against Paideia in the Class A-Division I championship.

In Thursday’s matchup, the Lady Redskins found themselves trailing in the opening minutes.

With the Lady Mustangs on the attack, multiple Mount Vernon forwards touched the ball before they got it past Lady Redskins’ keeper Gentrie Mobley.

Mount Vernon’s goal put it ahead 1-0 three minutes into the match.

Right on cue, senior Peyton Brooks answered to tie it up.

Brooks dribbled around a pair of Lady Mustangs before taking a long shot that went just over the hands of the Mount Vernon keeper for the goal.

The goal from the Lady Redskins’ leading scorer tied the game 1-1 with 36 minutes left in the opening half.

Sc Soccer 2024
- photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

Getting down early and fight back is something Lady Redskins’ head coach Heather Richardson felt is a strong suit of her team.

“When it does happen, we pick it up. We are able to bounce back,” Richardson said. “That’s one thing I really like about this team. They do a great job not feeling defeated at any point in the game.”

At the 32-minute mark in the first half, the Lady Mustangs were mounting another attack. This time, Mobley made the save, but paid the price.

Mobley was accidentally kneed in the head on the play, which led to the sophomore being taken out of the match. 

The keeper did make a return later in the contest and made a handful of saves in the second half to hold off the Lady Mustangs.

With a few minutes left in the first half, Alana Ferguson put the Lady Redskins ahead.

Ferguson was awarded a free kick from outside the corner of the box, and the junior did not miss.

The kick glided into the top corner of the net to put Social Circle ahead as the Redskins’ student section roared from the bleachers.

Ferguson’s athleticism is something Richardson spoke to as one of the key factors for the team in 2024.

“That has really helped us,” Richardson said. “Tonight, she just pushed it past them and took off and got some great crosses in. It just helps especially when we have to defend for a long period of time and she is able to get it up there and get it across, it really helps.”

Coming out of halftime, Brooks struck again.

The Truett McConnell took another long shot that hit the hands of the reaching Mount Vernon keeper and into the net to put the Lady Redskins ahead by two goals.

Seconds later, the Lady Mustangs had the ball in the box, but Mobley made the stretch to prevent the goal.

With 20 minutes left in the match, another shot by Brooks was deflected. This resulted in the ball rolling to Faith Young, who deposited the ball into the top of the net for another Social Circle goal.

Faith Young 2024
- photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

Shortly after, Brooks earned her hat trick.

A cross from Ferguson was played perfectly into the box to Brooks, who chipped it in to give the Lady Redskins their fifth goal of the match.

In the final 20 minutes, Mount Vernon added two goals, but it proved to be futile as Social Circle won 5-3 to move on to the championship.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the players and the Social Circle student section raced towards midfield to embrace and celebrate.

Richardson discussed her emotions on going to the championship and how Thursday’s game was a different atmosphere compared to what the team endured early in the year.

“So excited,” Richardson said. “I’m so proud of these girls, they fought through a lot of heat tonight. We started in January when it was freezing cold, so this is the complete opposite from when we started. I was proud of them for fighting through that element.”

Thursday’s win meant that Social Circle dethroned the team that won the 2023 Class A-Division I title.

In that game last year, Mount Vernon defeated the team that the Lady Redskins will match up with on Tuesday.

The contest with Paideia will not be a first for Richardson’s team.

Last season, the Lady Pythons eliminated Social Circle in the Final Four 6-0. The two will battle for the Class A-Division I championship on Tuesday, May 7.

Through Paideia’s first four playoff matches, the Lady Pythons have conceded zero goals while scoring 27 of their own.

As for the days leading up to the title game, Richardson wants to see her team get some rest before they dive into preparation.

“We are going to have a little bit of rest, for sure,” Richardson said. “We played Tuesday when we should have played Monday. Then we had a hot practice on Wednesday and we had a hot game today. So, [we will] take a little bit of rest then definitely start looking at some film and get after it first thing next week.”