Lady Wildcats clinch South Division crown

POPLARVILLE Jordan Organ drilled a first-half goal off an assist by Ana Lee and the Pearl River Lady Wildcats hung on for a 1-0 shutout soccer victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast to claim their seventh MACJC South Division championship in the 13-year history over the program. Organ, a sophomore midfielder who prepped at Forrest County AHS, scored the game only goal with 21:28 left in the opening half. Lee, a red shirt sophomore, is a forward out of Picayune Memorial High. The PRCC men followed suit with a 2-0 victory off a pair of first-half goals by James Zanelli of Essex, U.K., and remain in the division championship and post-season tournament hunt with two division games remaining. Zanelli goals came off a penalty kick and an unassisted boot at the 15:15 and 1:04 marks of the opening half. Following Tuesday road trip to Mississippi College in Clinton, Pearl River women and men eye division battles at Southwest Mississippi in Summit Friday, then Jones County visits Wildcat Stadium Wednesday, Oct. 19, to wrap the regular season. The Lady Wildcats were 4-0 winners over SMCC in Poplarville Sept. 21 and 2-0 victors at JCJC in Ellisville Sept. 23, while the Wildcats blew out Southwest 9-0 before battling Jones to a 1-1 stalemate. PRCC women improved to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in division play with their Gulf Coast win, while its men are now 8-4-1 and 4-1-1. Both MGCCC teams now stand at 10-4 and 4-2. The Lady Wildcats have won state championships in 2005 under then-coach Patrick Hayes and 2009 under current coach Jack Byrd, while the Wildcats copped an MACJC title in 2003 under then-coach Adam Breerwood. Tuesday games at MC are 1 p.m. (women) and 3 p.m. (men), while the SMCC contests are set for the same game times. The JCJC game times are 5:30 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men). With Saturday win, The River women clinched the South No. 1 seed in the upcoming MACJC State Tournament set Oct. 22-23 at the home field of the North Division men champion. The top two women and men finishers in the North and South Divisions earn berths in the tournament. The Region 23 Tournament is set for Oct. 30-31 at the MACJC women champion home field.

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