PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast punched its ticket into the MACJC women's soccer playoffs Friday, blanking Meridian 3-0 at the MGCCC Soccer Complex.
Keeper Haley Lott (Fr., West Harrison/Gulfport) pitched her second consecutive shutout, and Erin Longsden (So., Droylsden Academy/Manchester, England) had two goals the Lady Bulldogs (6-5-2, 3-3-2 South).
"Playoff bound. This is what we've been working toward the entire year," Gulf Coast coach Jackie Rhodes said. "To finally be able to say we're going to the playoffs feels good."
Gulf Coast clinched the third and final playoff spot from the South, eliminating Meridian (4-10-1, 1-6) and Southwest. It's the second straight trip to the postseason for the Lady Bulldogs.
L.T. Massey (So., Oak Grove/Hattiesburg) put Gulf Coast on top in the 17th minute, banging in her own rebound. Eight minutes later, Longsden scored her first and she provided the final margin 84 seconds before halftime.
Jess Shepherd (So., Parrswood/Manchester, England) assisted on both Longsden goals.
"I thought our transition was real good compared the last few games," Longsden said. "We really worked on that in training and it paid off today.
Lott stopped eight shots on goal this week in a pair of must-win games.
"I thought we controlled the tempo of that game for almost 90 minutes," Rhodes said. "Overall, we played well enough to win the game. Now we look forward to the playoffs."
Gulf Coast plays a tune-up match at LSU-Alexandria on Tuesday. The Lady Bulldogs play in the MACJC quarterfinals Oct. 24 at Itawamba, the No. 2 seed from the North.
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