LAFAYETTE Luck simply wasn’t in the corner of the Merrol Hyde Magnet girls soccer team.
Instead, fate smiled on Smith County, who handed the Lady Hawks a 1-0 loss in Tuesday evening’s District 8 A-AA Tournament semifinal match at Macon County.
The Lady Owls’ lone goal came with 16:50 to play as Abby Smith converted a cross from Katy Wright on one of the few scoring chances Smith County (14-0) had during the match.
Merrol Hyde Magnet (7-10-1) had three shots hit the post or crossbar during the match, including one from freshman Abbey Miller with 14 minutes remaining.
“It was not for a lack of opportunities and it was not for a lack of effort,” Merrol Hyde Magnet head coach Jason Bentley said. “I thought the quality of play was there. All the pieces were there. It’s a great game, and it can be a cruel game sometimes.”
Smith County junior goalkeeper Tori Lankford also played a big role, stopping all 10 Lady Hawk shots on goal, including three with diving saves to thwart dangerous chances.
“We did what we needed to do to potentially win this game,” Bentley said. “Hats off to Smith County. They’re undefeated, they came out and played a great game. It’s well deserved.”
The Lady Hawks will lose three seniors to graduation – Molly Anne Arwood, Mary Rose Stinson and Emily Thompson.
“From where we ended up versus where we started, we came a long way,” Bentley said. “We do have a lot of young girls. They got better and they learned what the high school game was about. We’re all going to be better off for it.”
Merrol Hyde Magnet had advanced to the region tournament in each of the past two seasons.
>> The Lady Hawks advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals following a weather-shortened, 6-1 victory over visiting Livingston Academy on Monday evening.
Play was halted three minutes into the second half, at which point Livingston Academy conceded the result to end the match.
Junior Paige Clinard scored twice, while Arwood, junior Addison Oaks, Miller and freshman Gracie Gumm also added goals for the Lady Hawks. Miller and eighth-grader Gabby Wakefield each provided two assists in the match.
Reach Chris Brooks at 615-575-7118 or on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.