DAHLONEGA — Blessed Trinity proved to be a little too much for a young Lumpkin County team to handle Tuesday night at the Burial Grounds. The previously unbeaten Lady Indians fell 4-0 to the Lady Titans in the GHSA Class AAA girls soccer semifinals.
“This was definitely the best team that we’ve played all season,” Lumpkin County coach Don Brock said.
Blessed Trinity (17-3-1) dictated the pace of the game from the start. The Lady Titans controlled possession, and all Lumpkin could do was fight to clear the ball out from defense, only to have Trinity bring the ball back down and start again.
The Lady Titans broke through in the 18th minute when freshman Sydney Kudlacz scored on a cross from senior Mallory McDaniel. The duo struck again in the 22nd minute on what was almost a carbon copy of their first goal to push Trinity’s lead to 2-0.
“I think we came in a little too worried,” said Ashlyn Atnip, Lumpkin’s senior goalkeeper. “We didn’t come out as hard as we usually do.”
The game stayed 2-0 until halftime, although it could have been much worse for Lumpkin. Trinity sophomore Caroline Crain hit the crossbar on two separate occasions, and the Lady Titans had another goal disallowed on a very close offsides call late in the half.
“We were glimmers of us,” said Brock. “We weren’t able to hold our shape, and I think we were intimidated from the get-go.”
The second half was not any better for Lumpkin (17-1-1) as Trinity’s McDaniel scored less than two minutes in to give the Lady Titans a three-goal advantage.
Atnip (14 saves) made nine stops in the second half alone, while the only scoring chance for Lumpkin in the entire game came in the 72nd minute after junior striker Alexis Satterfield was able to battle through three defenders before getting a decent strike on Lady Titans goalkeeper Christian Peyroux.
Junior Emma Hodson scored Trinity’s fourth and final goal of the match in the 77th minute as the Lady Titans ended Lumpkin’s record-breaking season.
“We ramped up well for the tournament,” Brock said. “In my opinion, I thought we ramped up well. We just didn’t come out tonight. It happens. I’m proud of what they’ve done. I just wish we showed a little bit better in this one. I mean, if we were going to go out, I would have liked to have a slightly better performance than this, but it’s the beginning of something that’s going to be here a long time.”
Lumpkin returns a large portion of its roster next season, with Atnip as the only graduating senior.
“The expectations are very high for us,” Satterfield said. “I think it’s going to be complete commitment from the very beginning. There can’t be any slacking next year. It’s going to be total commitment and effort from day one, every day. There cannot be a fluke day like this where you just let down and don’t give it your all because next year it’s going to be better competition.
“People are going to know that Lumpkin is coming back with the same girls, and it’s going to make us have to work harder.”