DAHLONEGA — It was a matter of time. That was the story of the night as Lumpkin County defeated Lakeview Ft.-Oglethorpe 5-0 Friday in the Class AAA girls soccer state quarterfinals at the Burial Grounds.
The game was pushed back by a 72-minute weather delay because of lightning in the area. Once it finally got underway, it took the eighth-ranked Lady Indians (17-0-1) almost the entire first half to break through a tough Lady Warriors (14-5) defense.
It wasn’t until the 33rd minute that junior striker Alexis Satterfield (4 goals) was finally able to beat Lakeview goalkeeper Lindsey Dunham (12 saves). After that, the flood gates opened.
“We had over an hour delay today,” Lumpkin County coach Don Brock said. “A lot of teams would get thrown out of rhythm, but they stayed together. They just kept themselves up the whole time we were sitting here waiting.”
The Lady Indians advance to the state semifinals and will host top-ranked Blessed Trinity on Tuesday.
Thirty-eight seconds after Satterfield’s goal, freshman Holly Foster (goal, 2 assists) scored to make it 2-0 Lumpkin County.
What was a scoreless draw became a 3-0 Lumpkin halftime lead in a span of just four minutes, after Satterfield scored a header off a corner kick from Foster in the 38th minute.
Lakeview’s strategy appeared to be to keep Lumpkin off the scoreboard at all costs.
The Lady Warriors played most of the game with eight or nine defenders in the box. That defensive-minded approach made it tough for the Lady Indians to break through despite maintaining possession for what seemed like at least 85 percent of the game.
“Eventually we started playing the ball back and getting the field wide enough that we ended up finding some gaps,” Brock said. “If we find gaps, Alexis or Morgan (Fagan), they’re going to find a way to score.
“Alexis is a relentless scorer. If there’s a ball through, she’ll find it, she’ll put it in.”
Satterfield and Foster started the second half right where they left off, connecting on another corner kick in the 43rd minute to push the Lumpkin lead to four.
“Her corner kicks are beautiful,” Satterfield said of Foster. “Placement, I lift my hand, volley’s right over my head. If I can get a head on it, I try to put it in the net, but her crosses are beautiful.”
“I just don’t really think about them,” Foster said. “It just happens.”
Satterfield closed out her four-goal performance with an unassisted goal in the 66th minute, pushing her goal total to 34 on the season and moving the Lady Indians on to the final four.
“We’ve never went to the final four,” Satterfield said. “We’ve never been past the first round of state, so this is history for Lumpkin girls.
“We’re going to come out Monday, and we’re going to really focus. It’s going to be a lot of mental preparing, hard work and it’s going to be hot, so (a lot of) hydrating.”
The Lady Indians have shut out their opponents in 13 of their 18 games this season, including each of the last five contests. Now they’re only two wins away from a state championship.
“The title is within reach,” Brock said. “Honestly, if these ladies play their game to the ability that they can play, I just don’t know that anybody can beat them.”