by Hunter Dawkins
Despite losing quite a number of student-athletes during the success of the Long Beach High School soccer program the last two years, both teams remain undefeated in district play and shutout the Hattiesburg Tigers on senior night at Lumpkin Magee Field Friday. The Lady Bearcats, who have dealt with injuries convincingly beat Hattiesburg 6-0 and will win their district 7-5A for the third consecutive year. Winning their sixth game in a row, the Bearcats boys soccer pulled across victory lane 4-0.
“I think the girls have come together and played really well,” said Long Beach Girls Soccer Head Coach Haley Hammons. “We are peaking at the right time and I’ve always told my girls there are only ten games that matter: district, playoffs, and state. This is the best soccer we’ve played all year right now.”
The Lady Bearcats scored early and often, putting through their first goal in the first 13 minutes and cruising into halftime with a 3-0 lead. Playing a little more aggressively late in the second half, Long Beach Junior Midfielder Lauren Bennett scored on a penalty kick with under 15 minutes left followed by Lady Bearcats Sophomore Ella Setnikar putting on through the net on a corner in the next possession.
Long Beach finished the night with a goal off a deflection scored by freshman Chrisjen Dominick with 4:23 left, securing the 6-0 win.
Depending on the results of the outcome against Picayune in their last district matchup, the Bearcats boys soccer will win their fourth district 7-5A in a row and go into the MHSAA playoffs as the top seed in south Mississippi.
“We’re trying to fix some mental mistakes along with a few injuries right now,” said Long Beach Boys Head Soccer Coach Andee Wilbun. “We’re a young team, but I knew that and we made our changes in the summer.”
The boys attacked late in the first period with Long Beach Senior Kevin Treminio scoring the first goal at 13:08 left during the first period. Two rapid scores followed, as Long Beach players Carlos Torres and Will Long both put goals in consequently in the last ten minutes of the first period to make the halftime lead 3-0.
Unfortunately, the Bearcats did not fare that well in the second half, as they took numerous shots with no luck.
Finally after the stoppage occurred, the Bearcats Senior Midfielder Stanley Trzaska put the finishing touch of senior night by scoring on the last possession of the game to earn a 4-0 victory for Long Beach.
After the boys host the Pascagoula Panthers on Tuesday night, both Long Beach teams will finish district play on the road against Picayune next Friday.