Briarwood girls soccer team loses to Athens

By DREW GRANTHUM/For the Reporter

It’s safe to say that Briarwood Christian’s girls soccer team left everything out on the field in their matchup with Athens High in the AHSAA 5A State semifinals, including their hopes of taking home another crown.

In a game that watched two powerhouses square off in a defensive struggle, the Lions fell just short in overtime, losing 1-0 to the Golden Eagles.

That’s not to say Briarwood’s offense was nowhere to be found, quite the opposite; the Lions registered 19 shots to the Golden Eagles’ 8, including an amazing 10 on goal, just none found the net.

There were two specific instances when it appeared the Lions would take the lead, including a shot by Claudia Day that rang the crossbar and bounced away with 19:15 left to go in the game.

Day later left the game with a facial injury, only to return to action late in the game.

After 80 minutes of no scoring, it took just 42 seconds for the Golden Eagles’ Riley Ridgeway to get a shot in, ending the game.

Sara Smeltzer, in her last appearance for the Lions, registered 8 shots, including 4 on goal. Day finished with 6 shots, three on goal. Sarah Drew Mulvaney made three saves as goalkeeper.

“It’s a very tough loss,” said coach Ryan Leib. “We felt we played well enough to win, just couldn’t finish.”