The Jefferson High School girls' soccer team was eliminated for the Class AA state playoffs on Friday following an 8-1 loss to Wesleyan.
The Lady Dragons went into the contest with a 6-0 region record and the 8-AA championship, while Wesleyan was 0-6 in a hyper-competitive Region 6-AA.
The Wolves put serious pressure on the Dragons from the opening minutes of the game. After a couple of attempts on the goal, Wesleyan punched one through in the 5th minute of play. The Wolves scored two more goals before halftime – one in the 11th minute, and another in the 24th.
The Dragons again found themselves on the defensive to open the second half. Wesleyan scored three more goals in the 42nd, 48th and 54th minutes to put the Dragons down 6-0.
Jefferson immediately answered the Wolves sixth goal, when Maryanne Kilgore put a shot past the Wesleyan goalkeeper with an assist from Caitlin Phillips. But with time running down, it was too little too late for the Lady Dragons.
The Wolves scored two more goals in the final five minutes of play to seal an 8-1 victory.
"The girls played really hard," said Jefferson head coach Todd Parker. "Unfortunately, I don't think we really had a homefield advantage. If you don't practice on the field (Memorial Stadium), then you don't have the advantage."
While the Lady Dragons saw an early exit from the playoffs, head Parker was optimistic about a successful season.
"The ladies did an excellent job," said Parker. "We made it undefeated through the region and the year except for this game. I'm ecstatic"
Parker noted that his graduating senior class was instrumental in the Dragons' season and will be missed.
"What can I say about my seniors," he said. "I've coached them all the way from youth-12 to now. I'm going to truly miss them. They are phenomenal young ladies."