Harrison girls overpower Colquitt County in soccer playoffs

A goal by Harrison’s Lindsey Jackson two minutes into the Hoyas’ second-round game in the Class AAAAA girls soccer tournament Tuesday was followed almost immediately by a heavy downpour that made ball control difficult.

The rain slacked off in the final minutes of the first half, but Harrison’s offense did not. The Hoyas added two goals before halftime and four in the second half for a 7-0 victory at home against Colquitt County.

Top-ranked Harrison (18-0-2), the Region 4-AAAAA champion, will play Collins Hill or Roswell in the quarterfinals at home Friday. Colquitt County (12-6-1), the No. 2 seed from 1-AAAAA, had its nine-game winning streak snapped.

Megan Justusson made the score 2-0 when she scored off a nice assist from Jessica Sperry with 26:22 remaining in the first half. The Hoyas got off 11 more shots in the final 17 minutes of the half, but found the net once, on Allison Ostman’s goal with 10:22 left.

“Sometimes the finishing is not the most accurate, but we had chances,” Harrison coach Steve Riccard said. “That’s what you look at in the big picture. Were we creating chances, were we reading the game the right way, and the answer is yes.

“Finishing? You know what, we can go practice that some more. You just hope that on a day when you need to finish some more, you’re on.”

Harrison’s four second-half goals came in an eight-minute span in the final 20 minutes. Sperry scored twice, and Haley Pollock and Monica Herrera added a goal each.

But Harrison’s outstanding defense made sure that the early goals were more than enough. The Hoyas have allowed five goals this season, including only two in the past 18 games, and the victory Tuesday was their 16th shutout.

Colquitt County rarely got the ball past midfield and had virtually no scoring chances. Megan May, Colquitt County’s leading scorer, got the ball relatively deep in Harrison’s end of the field twice in the first half, but never got a clean look at the goal. She scored 22 goals this season, including four in the Packers’ 9-0 victory against Jenkins in the first round.

“We spend a lot of time on defending,” Riccard said. “Our players get a lot of pleasure out of shutting people down.”