Last weekend was another rough one in terms of soccer for the Lady Bulldogs of Thomson High School.
They dropped a pair of key Region 3-AAA games to Baldwin's Lady Braves and Richmond Hill. In the game against Baldwin, which was played last Friday night at the Thomson field, the Lady Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker, 5-4. The following day, Saturday, on the same field, they fell 7-1 at the hands of Richmond Hill.
The Lady Bulldogs, now 5-5 overall, but who have a dismal showing in region play, are still hopeful of making the state playoffs, according to head coach Jessica Ruark.
"I think we have a definite shot at making it to the first-round of the state playoffs," coach Ruark said through an e-mail prior to her team's latest two games. "All in all, I expect great things from all of these ladies."
The key to making it to the state playoffs will depend on how well her team works together and uses the knowledge that have gained in practice in their remaining games, explained coach Ruark.
The Lady Bulldogs, who played Baldwin a fine game - one point coming back from a 2-0 deficit -- committed a handball violation which resulted in a penalty kick late in the game. It ended with the Lady Braves snatching a game from Thomson.
Miranda Barker and Quenesha Williams, "a player who has blossomed in the past couple of weeks," according to coach Ruark, were responsible for the four goals scored by Thomson in the game against Baldwin.
"We started using Williams as a forward because of her speed," added coach Ruark, who is in her second season with the Lady Bulldogs.
"Then we tried her as a defensive player, which worked well because of her speed and defensive stature. She is really aggressive and wants to win the ball. We have recently discovered that she could be an excellent midfield player as well. She is a sponge and she learns and adapts very easily."
Williams scored the lone goal that Thomson picked up against Richmond Hill, a state-ranked team.
On another positive note for the Lady Bulldogs, Caitlin Carpenter, who recently was injured, has returned to action as a key defensive player.
While she was out, Melissa Rodriguez played the sweeper position well, said coach Ruark.
Another player praised for her fine play this season was Sarah Kellogg, the Thomson goalkeeper, who recorded 18 saves during this past weekend's games.
"She is amazing," said coach Ruark.
"She has saved us many games, keeping the opponent from scoring more goals than we did."
Taylor Clark was another player praised for her play of late, defensively.
Thomson will travel to Hinesville on Friday to take on Liberty County's Lady Panthers in a region match-up.
They will return home to play the Washington County Lady Golden Hawks from Sandersville on Saturday. Game time is noon.