First-round rout: Northwest girls blast Clarkston 10-0 to set up Sweet 16 showdown with North Oconee

Apr. 18—TUNNEL HILL — With Northwest Whitfield High School leading Clarkston 8-0 at halftime in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs Thursday, the second half was shortened to 20 minutes.

Turns out, the Lady Bruins only needed a little over three more minutes to end the game.

Northwest (14-3-1) blanked Clarkston (12-7-1) 10-0 Thursday in the first round of the playoffs, ending the game via mercy rule three minutes and 12 seconds into the second half. The Lady Bruins move on to the Class 4A Sweet 16, where the second round will likely provide a much stiffer test. North Oconee, the defending state runner-up, will come to Northwest for the second round next Thursday. North Oconee collected a 10-0 win of its own Thursday in the first round, defeating Luella.

Northwest scored its first goal exactly six minutes into Thursday's game, which was played mostly on the attacking side of the field for the Lady Bruins as Clarkston struggled to maintain possession against the Northwest defense.

After Jazmin Cortes hit the first of her four goals in the game — thanks to an assist from Meryl Clark — the scoring came fast afterward.

Yulianna Herrada rocketed a shot from 25 yards out that went in despite being tipped by the keeper with 28:22 left in the first. Not two minutes later, Lexi Lyon made it 3-0 after collecting the rebound from a Sadie Clark shot and finding an open corner of the net.

Lorelei Ewton hit a long-range shot to make it 4-0 with 20:30 left in the first.

Cortes got her second goal with 13:04 left in the first off an assist from Sadie Clark, kicking off another quick spurt of goals.

Ewton set up Cortes's third goal with a long assist, and Cortes headed the ball in to complete a hat trick after just 29 minutes of play and make it 6-0.

Then, after several near misses, Sadie Clark got her first goal when Meryl Clark found her for the assist. Sadie Clark put in Northwest's final goal of the first half with just 30.9 seconds left, heading the ball in after a Herrada corner kick to make it 8-0.

Coming out of halftime, Cortes needed just 59 seconds to score her fourth goal, and Meryl found Sadie again for the game-ender.

Sadie Clark made a run at the goal, and Meryl Clark hit her in stride with just one player to beat. Sadie Clark outran her to get in front of the net and tap home the easy goal, finishing with three.