''Cats wrap season with 2-0 loss in Region 23 title bout

October 31, 2011 - 9:24am -- braswell

PERKINSTON Pearl River Wildcats wrapped up its 2011 soccer season here Saturday with a 2-0 loss to arch-rival Mississippi Gulf Coast in the men championship game of the Region 23 Tournament. PRCC, which got to the title bout via a 3-1 victory over Meridian on Friday, finished the year at 12-4-1. Gulf Coast men, which defeated the Wildcats 1-0 for the MACJC state championship the previous Sunday in Ridgeland, improved to 15-4-1. MGCCC men and its women, who defeated Meridian 1-0 in overtime for the women championship, now host Tyler (Tex.) next weekend in district competition. The Wildcats nabbed the berth due to an NJCAA mandate that requires any team without a winning record (MCC men finished the regular season at 2-13) must play an additional regional game against the MACJC No. 2 finisher. MCC gets automatic men and women regional berths due to it not being a member of the MACJC. In the men title game, Harrison Russell scored a goal at the 26:40 mark of the first half to give the host Bulldogs a 1-0 edge, then Carter Griffith added the final score with 29:29 left in the game. Both goals were unassisted. Against Meridian on Friday, Steven Smith booted in a goal with 7:13 left in the first half to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead at the intermission, but Pearl River bounced back with three unanswered scores in the second half to take the victory. Pacer Frierson of Picayune Memorial High tied it up at the 41-22 mark of the second half, then Garrett Head of Oak Grove High kicked in two straight goals the first off a penalty kick with 37:57 left and the second at the 15:38 mark. In the women championship game, regulation play ended in a scoreless 0-0 stalemate, but Gulf Coast Jordan Papas, a recruit out of Oak Grove High, booted a goal with 55 seconds left in the overtime period for the win. MGCCC women improved to 16-4 overall, while Meridian ended its season at 7-7-2.

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