Lady Pack clinches conference title

Published 10:01 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

The ball deflected around the penalty area after a corner kick from Washington. Jordan Prescott ran back to gather the loose ball until she was called off by Sydney Edwards.

“I got you,” Edwards said as she launched the ball far side. It dinked off the left goal post and into the net for the game-winning marker. Edwards scored four goals in the 6-2 win over Beddingfield. The victory clinched the Lady Pack’s fourth-straight 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship and marked its 12th in a row.

“They’ve done a great job leading the team and playing by example,” coach Ed Rodriguez said of Edwards and her fellow upperclassmen. Edwards, a senior, played her last regular-season home game Tuesday against North Pitt. “They’re just playing hard and doing the things that make the difference in winning or losing.”

For a team that hasn’t lost a conference game in that four-year championship run, Washington had to fight for the result. Beddingfield struck first less than 10 minutes into the game. The wind was working against the Lady Pack in the first half, too.

Prescott nearly erased the early deficit in the 14th minute. Maddie Brodie centered it to her right in the middle of the box, but she put the shot right on the Lady Bruin goalkeeper.

Prescott, who was snakebitten the entire game, finally found twine in the 23rd minute. She got in behind Beddingfield’s defense, was again stopped, but collected her own rebound and buried it to tie the game at one apiece.

“Sometimes you have games like this where you win and aren’t playing your best,” Rodriguez said of Prescott struggling with her finishing. “(The wins) still count. That’s all that matters.”

Edwards followed her up with a skipping grounder to the keeper’s right to give the Lady Pack the lead with nine minutes left in the half.

“She was having a little trouble with her breathing, but as a good leader, she played through it and did a good job,” Rodriguez said of Edwards’ exceptional outing.

Edwards’ goal following the corner kick extended Washington’s advantage to 3-1 seven minutes into the second half, but Beddingfield converted on a penalty kick four minutes later to cut the Lady Pack lead in half.

She took it upon herself to put the game away shortly thereafter. One of the most dangerous players in the entire conference, Edwards ripped a shot into the top-right corner of the net from just inside the box. She scored her fourth and final goal with nine minutes left when she went top shelf once again.

Sydney Walker capped off the six-goal offensive effort when she broke in on the right side and booted a shot to beat the keeper on the far side.