PERKINSTON — It took 82 minutes, but the only goal Thursday night was worth the wait for Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Lady Bulldogs' Chloe Fell scored off a corner from Hannah Helms to defeat Hinds 1-0 at Bary Thrash Field.
"We had attempt after attempt on the corner kicks, but that's the first one we've converted all year," Gulf Coast coach Jackie Rhodes said. "It showed up in a big way this time. It was the deciding goal for us, which was big."
The Lady Bulldogs (7-6-1), seeded second in the South Division, earned a trip to the MACJC semifinals Saturday in Ellisville. They'll play No. 10 Holmes at noon.
Hinds, the No. 3 seed from the North, finishes its season 4-9.
The other semifinal features Pearl River taking on No. 16 Jones. Three South Division teams made it to the final four.
Helms (Fr., Southaven/Southaven) had delivered a slew of corners Thursday to the top of the 6-yard box, but the Bulldogs couldn't push one in until 8:10 was left in the game.
"I was looking for Chloe because she's tall," Helms said. "We should have got one in a long time ago."
Fell, a 6-foot freshman from Bury, England, got her head on it and pushed it to the far post. It glanced off a Hinds defender, and the keeper couldn't get there before it powered through.
"It took long enough," Fell said. "We work on it in practice so often, but it's just pulling the final piece off and getting in the corner. You have to keep putting in that same area because the keeper wasn't getting it. I'm so happy to be through to the next round."
It was fitting Helms and Fell teamed up on the goal because they'd led a stifling midfield for Gulf Coast. The Lady Bulldogs kept Hinds pinned in its own end for much of the game, although the Lady Eagles had a shot on a counterattack hit the crossbar in the first half.
Fell one of her own with 28 minutes to play, powering a long free kick off the crossbar.
"We definitely dominated time of possession and the whole game, but it's the same story all year," Rhodes said. "We're just not able to finish the opportunities we had. It's a win and we'll walk into the state tournament and compete against the No. 10 team in the country."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.