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Lady Packer soccer hold their own against 2nd seed in region

Mar. 21—MOULTRIE — Holding Lowndes 1-0 at halftime, the varsity Lady Packers soccer team kept the second seed team at bay through a well-executed, and throughly planned, strategy.

The game ended 3-1, advantage Lowndes.

"The girls were very excited," said head coach Carlos Bautista. "This game was like a win to them."

When the Lady Packers faced Lowndes for the first region game on Feb. 23, they were defeated 8-0.

"A lot of homework went into this second game with them," said Bautista. "Everyone from the coaches to each one of the players. We did not go out guessing. We all knew exactly what we needed to do."

Bautista went on to explain how he watched the footage from the game against Lowndes for about six hours to meticulously dissect how the Lady Packers played as well as how Lowndes played so a plan could be formulated.

"We changed up a few people and added and extra defender," said Bautista. "We made sure to cut off their forward through passes and forced them to take those long shots, which they aren't as good at."

The solo goal for the Lady Packers came from Jennifer Cano about 20 minutes into the second half.

After it was cleared upfield, Cano and a Lowndes defender raced to raced to reach the ball first.

Lowndes did make contact first and tried to change the direction of play; however, the ball bounced off Cano's shins continuing upfield.

Again trying to clear the ball, this time it was Lowndes goalkeeper who kicked the ball into Cano's shins.

It rebounded past the goalkeeper and Cano was able to slip past her for an easy, undefended, shot.

There were several other Lady Packer athletes who played during the game who gave a noteworthy performance.

Rhylee Tillery, who played goalkeeper for the Lady Packers the entire 80 minutes, had several phenomenal saves, with a couple of them being right at that goal line.

Krystal Guerrero and Greer Turnipseed both connected a plethora of passes with Mollie Hewett and Tatum Salter to assist in moving to the ball up the field and into Lowndes territory.

Salter, who has been filling in at center defender the past several games, has been having increased confidence in holding down the line and resolving situations to keep the team out of trouble.

Currently at fourth seed, the Lady Packers have a region record of 0-5. They are 1-10-1 overall.

"With the goal differential we have versus Camden County, Lowndes and Richmond Hill we are still in the conversation for state playoffs," said Bautista. "As long as we beat Valdosta in our upcoming head to head we should be sitting at the same table as those other teams."

The Lady Packers will next travel to Valdosta on Friday.

Following that game, the Lady Packers will again face Valdosta for their head-to-head at Packer Park during senior night. That game will be on March 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m.