PERKINSTON, Miss.— Coach Henrik Madsen had a rivalry game to remember Tuesday. Leading Pearl River's women's soccer team in his first contest against archrival Gulf Coast, the Wildcats scored nearly at will late to ice a 5-0 victory at Bary Thrash Field.
"I thought it was exciting. The girls played really well. I would have liked for our finishing to be a bit sharper, but at least we're creating the chances," Madsen said. "The girls worked really hard and moved the ball well to create a bunch of good crossing opportunities."
PRCC (3-0-1 overall; 2-0 MACJC South) dominated almost from the opening kick, keeping the ball in MGCCC's end. The homestanding Bulldogs (0-4) rarely found safe passage into the visitor's territory.
Pearl River's back line and defensive midfielders ensured the bulk of the play remained in Gulf Coast's end. The unit won 50-50 balls, didn't allow the Bulldogs to turn the corner with the ball and cut off passes before they became a threat.
"We have a really good back line along with the two holding mids we had in there today," Madsen said.
Despite the overwhelming possession, PRCC struggled to ripple the twine.
The Wildcats' constant barrage finally broke through in the 31stminute. Freshly subbed into the game, Briana Carr (Laurel; West Jones) found the ball in the midst of a scrum following a PRCC corner kick and kicked it past the exposed Bulldog keeper.
"She was a super sub," Madsen said, "Got in there and 10 seconds later she had a goal. That was good because the girls were starting to get frustrated so that settled things. That was a crucial goal."
It didn't take nearly as long for PRCC to find the back of the net in the second half.
Victoria Stewart (Pearl River, Louisiana; Pearl River) found herself alone in front of the goal two minutes into the half and made the most of her chance, placing the ball past a sprawled keeper.
Stewart cashed in again in the 74thminute. Laura Magleau (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) jumped on a turnover near midfield and sent the speedy forward in alone on goal. Having missed a 1-on-1 chance minutes earlier, Stewart struck true on her last opportunity, giving Pearl River a 3-0 advantage.
"She has a lot of pace and potential. She's crafty, too," Madsen said. "She struggled the last game against Meridian so I was happy to see her get going. We gave her a bit of a breather, she came in off the bench and made a big difference."
Zigi Ahortor (Accra, Ghana) extended PRCC's lead to 4-0 in the 84thminute, depositing a left-footed free kick from Beets that bounced off the left post and sat in the goal mouth for Ahortor.
Jade Shaw (Carriere; Pearl River Central) capped the scoring in the 88thminute, tapping in a pass from Shelby Harrington (Oak Grove) that traveled across the yawning goal to an unmarked Shaw on the right side.
Paige Horsnell (London, England) made one save to earn the clean sheet.
The Wildcats won't return to the pitch until Tuesday when they host Southwest at 5 p.m.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All home events will be broadcast on PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com. Anyone who has an Amazon Fire or Roku device can stream PRCC broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" Channel from the app store.