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By  Danny C.  Davis


After a  heart stopping  2-1 win  overtime win over rival Madison Central in the North Class 7A semifinals  the Clinton Lady Arrows soccer team   is headed back to the MHSAA  State girls soccer championship. In this year’s Class 7A title game the Lady Arrows now 15-4-2 will meet the Northwest Rankin Lady Cougars  21-1-1 and  winners of Class 7A South on  Saturday February 17th at 4 PM at Ridgeland High School’s stadium.


The two teams played on February 6 at Arrow Field and Clinton lost 1-0.


The Lady Arrows won their first MHSAA state championship in 2023 since 1997 with a  1-0 win over Gulfport last February. Clinton also played in the 2022 Championship game falling to Northwest Rankin 2-0.


The Clinton – Madison Central series was as even as it could get in the first two meetings.  The first game at Clinton ended in a 0-0 tie with Clinton winning 1-0 with a goal in the  first overtime period.


At Madison Central in the  second regular season, the game also ended tied with MCHS winning on  a penalty kick 1-0.


The North Championship game was also even. Clinton scored first in the 22 nd minute when senior McKenzie Pierce  hit the back of  the net from 25 yards out.


“It was a free kick and I just tried to hit it high into the net and it went in,” said Pierce. We are not finished and plan to close it out Saturday.”


Madison Central scored at the 54 minute mark to tie it.  With the game tied 1-1 after 80 minutes the two  teams entered into (2) ten minute overtime periods. Senior Cooper Holmes scored what would be the winning goal at the 87 minute mark  to win 2-1 thanks to an incredible job by senior goal keeper Sarah Pogue who had 2 saves in the first half and 4 saves in the second half.


“  I got a great cross and I wanted to win this game so bad and  a chance to win another championship,” said Holmes.


“Sarah has been an absolute anchor of this team for five years now and showed again against Madison Central why it is so  difficult to score on this team,” said Arrow head coach Elliot Rimmer.


In the first half Clinton had 3 shots and one shot on target. In the second half the Lady Arrows had 6 shots and 4 shots on target. In the overtime period CHS had 4 shots and 2 shots on target.


To get to the semifinals Clinton defeated Hernando 1-0 and Oxford 4-0.


“It is always a battle when we play Madison,” said Rimmer. “All these girls on both teams play club soccer together and know each other very well . They are a good team and coached well.”

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