The Stratford girls soccer team cruised to a 5-0 win over Landmark Christian on Wednesday to advance in the GHSA Class 1A private school playoffs.
Stratford will now go on the road to face Wesleyan next week.
Stratford was the more aggressive team from the start and threatened to score for the first 20 minutes. But Landmark Christian goalkeeper Stephanie Pike was up to the challenge. That all changed in the 24th minute when Emory Sutherland took a long pass from Josie Lamb and broke wide open for the first score of the game.
Sara Kate Durkee scored three minutes later on a pass from Sutherland to make it a 2-0 game, and Stratford basically put the game away when Lizzie Clayton and Sutherland both scored in the 39th minute to make it a 4-0 lead at the half.
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Sutherland added her third goal in the 49th minute as Stratford had 35 shots and held Landmark Christian to only two attempts. Pike ended the game with 16 saves for Landmark Christian.
“It was a little frustrating at the beginning of the game because we couldn’t get the ball in the net, but we just kept putting pressure on their defense,” said Sutherland, who now has 28 goals this year. “We were confident the entire game, and we knew if we kept getting shots we would eventually score.”
Stratford (13-1) was a Final Four team last year, but head coach Kate Blankenship said the Eagles will have their work cut out for them when they travel to Wesleyan.
“They are probably one of the best teams in any classification, and we will just try and stick to our game plan and fight and battle and scrap. There is a lot of heart and determination heading into a game like we have next week,” she said.
▪ Mary Persons lost 4-3 to Eastside in the Class 4A playoffs in penalty kicks. The game was tied at 1 after regulation and overtime. Shane King scored the Bulldogs’ goal. Mary Persons ends its season at 14-3-2.
▪ FPD lost 3-0 to Atlanta International in the Class 1A private school playoffs. The Vikings end their season at 9-6-3.
Stratford lost to Wesleyan 3-2 in the Class 1A private school playoffs to end its season with a 17-3 record. Eliza Freedman won her single match 6-4, 6-0, while Alyssa Ferland won 6-1, 6-0, but the Eagles lost the other singles match and both doubles matches. Both doubles losses went to a third set.
▪ Logan Simmons hit two home runs, had two RBI and scored three runs to lead Tattnall Square to a 9-2 win over Schley County. Trey Ham, Austin Marchman and Tyler Warnock each had two hits, while Luke Laskey and Warnock each had two RBI.
▪ Windsor scored five runs in the first inning and held on for an 8-7 win over Gatewood. Brayden Leslie led the Knights with three hits, while Landry Rustin added two. Stevie Arrington scored two runs and had two RBI. Tony Rudolph led Gatewood with three hits. The Knights next head to the GISA playoffs.
▪ Westfield scored 10 runs in the fifth inning to beat John Milledge 11-1. Cole Brannen, Owen Jones and Hatch Brannen each had two hits for the Hornets, while Jones had five RBI, including a home run.
Thursday’s high school playoff schedule
GHSA GIRLS SOCCER first round
Warner Robins at McIntosh
GHSA GIRLS TENNIS quarterfinals
Davidson Arts at Bleckley County, 2 p.m.
GHSA BOYS TENNIS quarterfinals
Screven County at Bleckley County, 4 p.m.