PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast has a very familiar opponent in the MACJC Tournament semifinals. The Lady Bulldogs head to Ridgeland on Saturday to play South Division rival Jones County.
The teams have played twice this season, with the Lady Bobcats winning 2-1 on a last-minute penalty and 2-0 with a pair of second-half goals.
"Our gameplan will be super similar to the last time we played them," Gulf Coast coach Jackie Rhodes said. "We know they want to play pretty direct, so we have to do better defensively. We haven't had a lot of offensive chances against Jones this year, so we're looking to create more chances."
Jones, the No. 1 seed from the South, has an 8-2-1 record. The Lady Bulldogs are 7-5-2 after a thrilling overtime win at Itawamba on Wednesday.
Saturday's game at Freedom Park is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m., but a packed schedule may cause it to be later in the day.
Mikayla Banks got free a twice in a 10-minute span in the second matchup to swing the tide.
"They changed a couple people around and we just didn't notice in time," Rhodes said. "Unfortunately, she was able to capitalize with a couple goals."
The Lady Bulldogs were playing with a shorter bench that game, and a fourth-string keeper, thanks to a slew of injuries. Most of those players are back for the tournament.
Gulf Coast is the only school bringing both teams to the MACJC semifinals. It's the second straight trip to the final four for the Lady Bulldogs.
"It's what we worked for all year," Rhodes said. "We had a couple of speed bumps along the way, so it's nice to get that win last night and get to the final four that we've been working so hard for."
MACJC Tournament Schedule
11 a.m. – Men's semifinal: North No. 1 East Central vs. South No. 2 Pearl River
1 p.m. – Men's semifinal: South No. 1 Gulf Coast vs. North No. 2 Itawamba
3 p.m. – Women's semifinal: North No. 1 Holmes vs. North No. 3 Northwest
5 p.m. – Women's semifinal: South No. 1 Jones County vs. South No. 3 Gulf Coast
1 p.m. – Men's finals
4 p.m. – Women's finals
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