clear
Monday May 25th, 2015 1:34AM

Soccer: Lady Red Elephants knocked from postseason via second-half blitz

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
GAINESVILLE -- A young Gainesville girls soccer team learned what coach Mark Wade hopes is a valuable lesson on Wednesday:

Don't let up in a playoff game -- not even for a few minutes.

The Lady Red Elephants let their pace drop after an end-to-end first half of a Class AAAAA playoff game with Lakeside, DeKalb and suffered the consequences in a 5-0 defeat at City Park.

The visiting Lady Vikings scored all five goals inside the final 21 minutes -- each from a different player -- to knock Gainesville (12-4-2) from the postseason.

"We lost our focus in the second half; we started being second to every 50/50 ball," Wade said. "In the playoffs you can't let down at all or that's what happens. Now we'll try and regroup for next season."

For much of the first half it looked as if the Lady Red Elephants' season would extend to at least one more game, as Gainesville pushed the attack and even had a goal from Alyssa Turner disallowed for offside.

The second half proved a different story, however, as the Lady Vikings (10-7-1) began to take control and push Gainesville's midfield -- led by Anna Youmans and Jazmin Penado -- back into its own half.

"I really didn't think we came out of the half very good," Wade said. "I don't want to blame it on being young. We just didn't maintain our focus."

Lady Red Elephants defender Elizabeth Duncan cleared one Lakeside shot off her own goal line with 31 minutes left to play -- though teammate Alden Turner produced a near miss of her own just two minutes later, firing wide of the Lady Vikings goal from 18 yards.

Nine minutes later, however, things began to fall apart for Gainesville.

Lakeside broke the deadlock midway through the second half, as Ashley Graham found yards of space inside the Gainesville penalty area. Vikings teammate Shannon Hagopian controlled a skidding ball and slid a pass to Graham, who rolled her shot into the left side of the goal for a 1-0 lead with 20:09 remaining.

The strike only invigorated the visitors' attack, and six minutes later Lakeside doubled its advantage when Grace Clark chipped a perfect, curling free kick off the Lady Red Elephants' crossbar and into the next for a 2-0 lead.

The Vikings weren't finished, however, and continued their goal onslaught, notching a 3-0 advantage on Brittanie Evans' strike with 11:48 left to play -- the midfielder rising to power home a header on a corner kick.

Not even a minute later, Hagopian got in on the act, bursting past a defender and slotting a 16-yard shot into the Gainesville goal for a 4-0 lead. Megan Arogeti chipped in with a long-range strike of her own with 2:46 remaining to make it 5-0.

"We're a pretty good offensive team, and once we got the first goal we showed it," Lakeside coach Tom Collop said. "We have seven losses but we've played the six No. 1-ranked teams in each classification.

"We really set the tempo today and didn't let Gainesville gain any momentum and run at us. They're a dangerous team when they get going forward, but we didn't really allow that. We man marked better today than we have all season and started winning most of the 50/50s."

Wade hopes his Lady Red Elephants, who graduate just two players -- captain Youmans and starting goalkeeper Ashlie Gonzalez -- will use the outcome as motivation.

"It's going to be up to them; the 2015 season will start for us next week when we meet up to discuss what we're going to do this summer," Wade said. "The good thing is that they're the hardest-working group I've ever had, and hopefully we can take a big step forward."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 4 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 4 months ago )
Sports
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 4 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 4 months ago )
High School Sports
Big Red championship vets hope Gainesville can get back to promised land this week
Wayne Vickery coached his way to five state championships with Gainesville baseball -- and the outgoing Gainesville High athletic director sees similarities between one of those title winners and the 2015 squad.
3:00PM ( 13 hours from now )
Fuel mileage gamble gives Edwards Charlotte victory
Carl Edwards rolled the dice and came up a winner as he stretched out his fuel just enough to cover the 600-mile distance to snap a 31-race winless streak and collect his first victory of the season in Sunday night’s Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
By Pete McCole
12:51AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Foltynewicz pitches into 8th, Braves beat Brewers 2-1
Atlanta rookie Mike Foltynewicz had command of his pitches, and that gave him the edge he needed to top Jimmy Nelson and the Milwaukee Brewers.
11:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
Montoya earns second career Indianapolis 500 victory
Juan Pablo Montoya won the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by 0.1046 of a second – the fourth-closest finish in race history – in a thrilling final 15 laps of the historic race.
By IndyCar Media
11:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hawks' Horford ejected from Game 3 for throwing elbow
CLEVELAND (AP) — Atlanta forward Al Horford was ejected in the final minute of the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night for throwing an elbow at Cavaliers guard Ma...
10:03PM ( 3 hours ago )