By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Muted celebrations after Metter win
Victory against the state's No. 8-ranked team not enough to cinch region title for the Redskins
bryan girls soccer v metter
Raleigh Thurston (15), Camryn Parker (25), and Akeisha Jenkins (4) in action against Metter. Photo provided by Mike Brown.

As the closing seconds of the game ticked off, Bryan County defender Raleigh Thurston looked over to Reese Raeburn and said, “I can’t say I’m disappointed, but I’m not excited.”

Raeburn’s reaction to Thurston’s comment mirrored that of their teammates following the Redskins’ 1-0 win over Metter last Friday:  there was little to no reaction at all.

Despite picking up a win over the state’s No. 8 ranked team which enabled them to finish Region 3A-D1 play tied for first-place with the Tigers, there were no outbursts of joy or running around in celebration on the immaculate playing field of Redskins Stadium.

Both teams finished 6-2 in region play – they split their two meetings---but Metter got the championship trophy and No. 1 seed going into the state playoffs because the tiebreaker was based on total goals in the two games.

Metter (8-4), thanks to an earlier two overtime 3-1 win, held a 4-3 advantage and that was all it took to gain the title and that coveted No. 1 seed. The state playoffs will get underway for Class A girls teams on April 16.

“To get the win was great,” third-year Coach Kristen Barnhill said. “The kids worked hard today. They played hard, gave everything they had.

“But it is kind of bittersweet, that we can get the win but fall short of our ultimate goal which is the region championship.”

Despite the disappointment the Redskins (8-5-1) will have the distinction of hosting a state playoff game for the first time ever. Bryan County’s first round opponent will be Swainsboro which will be the No. 3 seed from Region 2.

Liz Harvey scored the lone goal of the game when took advantage of a penalty kick and drilled the ball home. The PK came three and a half minutes into the second half and was set up when Lexi Clark drew a foul.

From that point on the Bryan County defense amped it up a notch as goalkeeper Skylar Lee and the back four of Camryn Parker, Amber Gray, Thurston and Lauren Sanderson never came off the field in the 80-minute game. Lee had seven saves.

It was Bryan County’s third straight shutout following a 6-1 loss to Screven County. Lee and Co. have a total of seven shutouts on the season.

“They held Metter in check the whole game,” Barnhill said of her backside defenders. “Skylar had seven saves in between the pipes. “I can’t express how proud of this group I am. They have bought in and are locked in. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Metter had 14 shots on goal to Bryan County’s 11 and had eight corner kicks to none for the Redskins. Harvey had eight shots, six on goal, and fellow sophomore Kolbie English got off three shots, two on goal.

The Redskins have four games remaining; three on the road, starting with a game at Bradwell Institute on Friday. They play at McIntosh County Academy on Monday before hosting Jenkins on April 9 for Senior Night. Regular season play will conclude with a game at Treutlen County on April 11.

“Screven was a wakeup call for us, a slap in the face,” Barnhill said, “but it got us back on track. That ultimately is what put us in a bind with the tiebreakers.

“It was a good spot in the season for it to happen. It didn’t cost us a lot except for our pride and I think that got us going harder in practice and got us hungrier on the field. We felt we should not have lost 6-1 and that was not representative of the team that we are.”




Sign up for our E-Newsletters