The Pillow Academy varsity girls soccer squad appears to be peaking at the right time of the season following a 2-0 home victory over perennial state power Madison Ridgeland Academy on Thursday at Chazzy Moor Field.
In a physical battle, Pillow's strong defensive line bent but did not break against the splendid passing of the visiting Patriots. Already down two starters due to injury, Pillow faced the wrath of the physical play of the visiting Patriots, who garnered four yellow cards for their aggression.
But it made no difference. MRA could not find the back of the net.
"Our girls completely shut out an amazing team," first year head coach Mary Claire Brock said after the contest. "When heart and guts come into play, I pick my Pillow girls every time."
Following a back and forth contest for the first 27 minutes, Pillow struck first. Goalkeeper Avery Howard punted the ball to the midfield. Midfielder Caroline Brock headed it to Elise Howard, who launched a perfect cross to Sarah Presley Howard in the box for a quick one touch goal.
The Howard sisters would strike again four minutes later. Elise Howard beat one MRA defender but was knocked down by another defender right outside the MRA box. Following a yellow card removal of an MRA player, Sarah Presley Howard took a free kick off the post and into the net for a 2-0 lead that would stand.
MRA came out in the second half and outposessed the Lady Mustangs for the entire 40 minutes. Despite taking numerous shots, goalkeeper Avery Howard faced weak shots by MRA and was never fully challenged. MRA's 11-3 shot advantage at the end of the contest was misleading, as Howard never dealt with a tough shot in the contest.
Pillow now stands at 5-1-2 on the season and has already clinched the Academy AAAA West division title. They are 1-1-2 against the big three Academy powers Jackson Academy, Jackson Prep, and MRA.
The Lady Mustangs will be back in action next Wednesday against Washington School in Greenville.