Pass Christian Lady Pirates Soccer team clinch MHSAA 4A Playoff birth with 1-0 victory over cross-town rival Bay High Lady Tigers. The Lady Pirates hold up a board picture of teammate Abby Bosarge, who has missed the season due to a battle of leukemia currently ongoing on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins

The Pass Christian Soccer Program left all of the marbles on the table Tuesday night as they hosted fierce, cross-town rival Bay High in the Francis McDonald Stadium for a chance at postseason play.  While the Lady Pirates were successful with a 1-0 victory, it took nearly 100 minutes for the boys to drop the contest against the Tigers 1-0.

GAME 1:  Girls – Pass Christian 1  Bay 0

With an aggressive offensive attack that hasn’t been shown all season, the Pass Christian Lady Pirates (10-3, 4-1) clinched their ninth consecutive playoff birth in a 1-0 win over the Bay High Lady Tigers; the only district team to beat them on a penalty kick shootout.

At the end of the first, the Lady Pirates Senior Captain Midfielder Gia Strength connected on a corner pass from Pass Christian Forward Abby Batten with under stoppage in the first half for the only goal of the game.

“We fought tonight, as we knew what was on the line after dropping the first match,” said Pass High Girls Soccer Head Coach Devin Griffith.  “Bay is our hardest district game; no matter what, but we settled down and got the job done.”

Lady Pirates Goalie Kiera Schwartz shutout the Lady Tigers along with stout defensive play from Pass Christian’s Kealey Skinner, Nylah Brown, Ella Woods, and Gabby Venable.

GAME 2:  Boys – Bay 1  Pass Christian 0 (2 OTs)

Playing every possession as their last, Pass High took Bay High nearly the end of two overtimes for a victory.  With three minutes left off a corner kick that was deflected a few times, the Tigers ended any hopes for Pass Christian postseason play.

Despite numerous saves from the Pirates Senior Goalkeeper Diego Gutierrez, Pass Christian never got a great offensive look or any real opportunity.  Due to Pass High having four division losses, no real playoff chances exist.

“We didn’t finish opportunities, but I thought we were the better team tonight,” expressed Pass Christian Boys Soccer Head Coach Jeremy Greenslade.  “We gave away too many corner kicks and eventually something is gonna happen.”

The next Pass Christian High School game is on Thursday against Vancleave High School for Senior Night activities at Francis McDonald Stadium beginning at 5:30pm.