tampabay.com

Girls soccer: Wolves finally run into an offensive power

Lakeland George Jenkins rallies for 3-2 win.

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published February 2, 2008


TAMPA - In 18 games before Friday's clash with Lakeland George Jenkins, Newsome had allowed a grand total of three goals. So when a Rudi Rodriguez score gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead with 21:54 to play, one could understand if more than a few Newsome players felt as if the team was about to punch its ticket to the state final four.

"No one," Wolves midfielder Ana Cate said, "had scored more than one goal on us all season."

Someone has now.

Keyed by a ferocious second-half offensive attack and two goals in the final 18:23 from midfielder Kayla Grimsley, George Jenkins rallied for a 3-2 victory that had the estimated 350 in attendance on the edge of their seats and left most of Newsome's players in tears.

"Our girls dug deep," Eagles coach Joe Lenard said. "Their backs were against the wall. They just believed in themselves."

For the first two-thirds of game, Newsome (16-3) was the better team. But after Rodriguez's second goal, which came on a picture-perfect 35-yard free kick, it was all George Jenkins (27-0-2). Behind Grimsley and midfielder Kayla Bala, who scored the Eagles' other goal, George Jenkins put constant pressure on the Newsome defense and it eventually paid off.

Grimsley's first score tied it at 2-all. Then, she struck again in the 76th minute, this time on a header off a pass from Ashley Yamnitz.

"I think we matched up pretty well with them," Wolves coach Kelly Townsend said. "But they dominated us in the second half."