After dropping their last three matches and trailing 1-0 at the half less than 18 hours after being shut out the night before, the Colquitt County girls soccer team could easily have surrendered Saturday afternoon against Warner Robins at Packer Park.
But after being challenged by Coach Andy Chapura during halftime, the Lady Packer found enough energy to score three times and knock off the Lady Demons 3-1.
And the first two goals came from Abbi Beth Paulk, who joined the team late after helping lead the Colquitt County girls basketball team to the first round of the state playoffs.
Paulk tied the match just four minutes into the second half when she took a ball served to her by Amber Kling and headed it into the Warner Robins net for her first career goal.
With 20:06 left in the match, she got what proved to be the winning goal. She again took a pass from Kling and this time used a more conventional approach to putting the ball behind the Lady Demons keeper, kicking it in from in close for a 2-1 Colquitt County lead.
Aubrey Norris scored an unassisted goal to add some insurance with four minutes remaining.
“We moved Abbi Beth to the midfield and she and Aubrey were a great combination there today,” Chapura said.
Since opening with a 3-2 win over Thomasville, the Lady Packers had fallen to 2-1 to Thomas County Central, 4-0 to Lowndes and, on Friday, 3-0 to Lee County.
“We came out flat and tired in the first half,” Chapura said. “The girls were a little frustrated. But at the half, we asked them, ‘How much do you want to win this game?’
“And they really stepped up in the second half.”
Chapura said that in addition to her two crucial assists, Kling saved a goal when she was just able to deflect a shot that appear headed to the net for a 2-1 Warner Robins lead.
“She did a great job at sweeper for us in the second half,” Chapura said.
The Colquitt County boys were unable to complete the sweep, dropping their first game of the season in Saturday’ nightcap 3-2.
It was the second game in a row in which the Packers were unable to convert on a number of scoring opportunity.
On the Friday, the Packer escaped with a 1-1 with Lee County.
On Saturday, there were not as fortunate.
“We played well,” Packers coach Jimbo Jarvis said. “We just could not finish. We’d find ourselves in front of the goal and just miss the shot.”
And when the Demons needed a goal for the victory, they got it, taking advantage of a Packers defensive miscue to score with 1:40 left to break a 2-2 tie and hand Colquitt its first defeat.
Colquitt scored first on a goal by Marcus Lopez, his second goal in as many days.
The Demons took advantage of a defensive mistake to tie the match and it was 1-1 at the half.
Maca Aguilera scored unassisted to put the Packers up 2-1 in the second half, but the Demons got a header off a corner kick to tie the match at 2-2.
That’s were it remained until Warner Robins rolled one into the net with less than two minutes left for the game winner.
On Friday, Jarvis was a bit unsettled by his team’s lack of verve in its warm-up the match with Lee County
The Packers had defeated Lee 2-0 in the scrimmage on the same field on Feb. 8 and Jarvis felt his 3-0 team was not taking the Trojans as seriously as it should.
And, sure enough, Lee County scored a goal 13 minutes into the match on its only shot on goal. The Packers had to scramble to forge a tie when a Lopez shot after a pass from Eric Gould, deflected off a Lee County player and into the net.
That was the only score the Packers could manage in the 1-1 tie.
The Packers hit the post twice and the crossbar once, but took a number of shots that were nowhere near the net, Jarvis said.
“It is what it is,” Jarvis said. “But it looked like we went in with the attitude that ‘It’s just Lee County.’ “It’s a little disappointing.”