by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher
For most of the last decade, the Long Beach Bearcats Boys and Girls Soccer programs have been pretty dominant in their district. Tuesday night, January 11, 2021, provided no change in the Region 8-5A powerhouse with a 3-0 victory by the boys and 2-0 win from the girls at the Lumpkin Magee Stadium.
The 3-0 victory from the boys team earned Coach Andee Wilbun and his squad their sixth consecutive district championship heading into the playoffs. If the girls team beats West Harrison Lady Hurricanes Friday, they will claim their sixth consecutive district title.
GIRLS: Long Beach 2 Pearl River Central 0
Although the Lady Bearcats came out aggressive offensively, Long Beach (10-5-1, 4-1) missed a few good opportunities.
At the 26th minute, the Lady Bearcats scored their first goal deflected from a penalty kick senior wing Ashton Rupert for a 1-0 lead. Long Beach held firm maintaining this lead at the half.
Trading possessions back and forth, Rupert knocked in a lengthy pass in the 11th minute for a 2-0 lead and secured the shutout victory.
“It was a must win game for the chance to win the district,” said Long Beach Head Girls Soccer Coach Andrew Lamier. “Pearl River is always a tough team, but we played tonight with a lot of combinations on the ball and our season is finally coming together.”
Lady Bearcats Freshman Goalie Addie Grossman earned a shutout victory replacing Rupert as the usual keeper for the contest.
BOYS: Long Beach 3 Pearl River Central 0
Winning district has become synonymous with the Bearcats (10-2-1, 5-0) boys soccer program and the first half showed why. Following a number of series shortages on both sides for each team, the Bearcats finally provided the firepower in the last 20 minutes of the first half.
In the 18th minute, Long Beach Midfielder Alexander Mink made the first goal from a penalty kick right outside the box. Three minutes later, Bearcats Midfielder Jason Marshall knocked in a header for goal and build the Long Beach lead to 2-0.
Closing out the first half at the four minute mark, Marshall chipped in a deflection off a corner kick for the 3-0 Bearcats halftime lead.
The Long Beach defense held firm for the second half for the win and district title.
Both teams play Senior Night this Friday against the West Harrison Hurricanes to end district play for the season.