THE JEFFERSON girls’ soccer team came away with more than just bragging rights in its showdown with Jackson County.
The Lady Dragons (8-1, 5-0) beat the no. 7 Lady Panthers 2-0 Tuesday at home to clinch the 8-AA South title and earn a no. 1 seed in the April Region 8-AA playoffs.
Jefferson coach Todd Parker noted the difference between last season and this year.
“We came from last year getting beat and not winning (as) many games as I wanted to and this year the girls are putting it on basically,” Parker said. “I’m in heaven right now. I’m on cloud nine.”
The Lady Dragons got a first-half goal from Taylor Cramsey off a header and a second-half goal from Lisa Plohmann to secure the win. Carolyn Carreno added two assists.
Parker pointed to a lineup change that he believes paid off in the big win.
“I know she does not like it, but Stephanie (Lamm) plays wing normally — she loves wing — but we stuck at midfield and she tore it up,” he said.
This was a game of mutual respect between these two neighboring foes.
“Jackson (County) is an awesome team,” Parker said. “Their coach is just phenomenal.”
Jackson County coach Joe Ridgway said Jefferson “was a great team.”
“They were really good in the air and they were first to the ball and their touch was just better than ours today,” Ridgway said. “Our touch wasn’t there today. But we’ve got a county now that’s competitive, and they’re going to move into the top 10 in the state now. So I’m proud of them and the way they played, and our girls, we’ll recover, and hopefully make the state playoffs.”
The Lady Dragons — who have already surpassed last year’s win total by two games — continue to play well as the regular season winds down.
Jefferson has now won seven-straight games. Its last loss came Feb. 24 to Winder-Barrow. The Lady Dragons have given up just one goal in their last four games.
Now the task for the team is to carry this momentum through spring break.
Jefferson, which earned its fifth shutout this season, is off until April 10 when it faces non-region foe Lumpkin County.
The Lady Dragons close the season against struggling subregion foe Hart County, which is 0-7 overall and 0-4 in divisional play.
Meanwhile, Jackson County (10-3, 4-1) lost for just the second time in its last 11 games. Jackson County falls into second place and must beat East Jackson Thursday to earn the no. 2 seed out of the subregion for the 8-AA post season.
“They’re going to be solid, too, and they’re going to wanting to get that two spot from us,” Ridgway said.