BEREA – The Lady Eagles (10-5) had not played a match for a week due to a cancellation at the end of the season.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, they weren’t very sharp in the first half of a game against Berea Community (4-11) on Monday in the first round of the 44th District Tournament.
“You can work hard in training, but it’s not the same as playing in a game,” said Madison Southern coach Katy Cress. “I just thought we came out flat and didn’t play to our potential.”
However, the Lady Eagles played well enough to earn a spot in the District title game for the 11th time in the past 12 years.
Mallory Duerson scored two goals and an assist as Madison Southern led the Lady Pirates 5-0. Ashlee Pisula scored one goal and one assist, while Ayvn Willis and Mallory Robinson each scored one.
The Lady Eagles will face either Model (7-6-0) or Madison Central (11-5-1) in Thursday’s district title game at Madison Southern.
The Lady Eagles led just 2-0 at halftime against Berea and got a lively pep talk from their coach during the break.
“I wasn’t too happy,” Cress said. “They did respond, however.”
Willis scored less than four minutes after the start of the second half. Robinson scored on an assist from Pisula with 15 minutes left, then Pisula found the net in the dying minutes thanks to a feed from Christopher.
A nice passing game set up Southern’s opening goal.
Christopher went deep into the right corner and sent a cross to Duerson in front, who easily steered the ball into the open net.
“She had two really nice assists,” Cress said of Christopher. “It was good to see that we had assists on almost all of our goals. It’s good teamwork.”
Duerson scored an unassisted goal with 24:32 remaining in the first half.
Southern, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, defeated Central in a shootout on August 31 and outscored Model 3-1 at home earlier this season.
On Thursday night, the Lady Eagles will try to win their first district title since 2011.
“Anything can happen in the district game,” Cress said.