By Chris Goltrmann
Newnan’s girls, in a 3-0 loss that provided a split between region opponents, attempted the same script as the boys, playing a strong opening 20 minutes while still trying to work through injuries. The Lady Cougars played minus senior All-County standout Hannah Marriaga among players in uniform battling through ailments.
The Lady Cougars suffered their first region loss, falling to 2-1 and 7-3 overall against Campbell, which was playing its 2-7A opener following a 5-5 start that included tough matchups against Norcross and unbeaten Lambert.
Newnan had the bulk of opportunities early, starting with a pair of immediate corner kicks. Junior Kaella Daly was unable to get a full swing on a ball mid hop in front of the net. Later, freshman Molly Anderson nearly came through on an opening tally on a break-in that ended with a shot attempt off Campbell keeper Ashi Kathuria.
On the other end, Newnan’s defense did a solid job preventing shot attempts before the Lady Spartans sent consecutive shots that just went wide on opposite sides of the goal.
The pressure eventually produced a breakthrough on Asia Dabney’s goal just under six minutes later, giving Campbell a 1-0 lead with 13:51 left in the first half.
The surge remained, however, and junior midfielder Taylor Oden nudged a ball forward on the right side that led to Lady Spartans teammate Esmeralda Reyes tucking a shot inside the near post.
Newnan tried to find an answer, getting help from Alice Marsh Willems. Twice the junior put together shot attempts from close range that sailed over the crossbar. Lady Cougars keeper Maddie Miller equally kept the 2-0 deficit at half thanks to a kick save on a break-in.
Senior co-captain Ansley Cost continued to take on a heavy workload, playing all 80 minutes to help control the middle of the field with Williams and senior co-captain Ryanne Hart.
Before the end of the half, Reyes and Daly were issued red cards following an altercation that ignited after both players nudged the other off possession of the ball.
Sophomore outside backers Maddie Cramer and Maggie Flanagan helped keep the deficit at 2-0 until the final four minutes before Campbell was able to keep a ball inbounds near the end line, scooting it in front to open freshman Nicole Knight. Knight was able to get a step on Miller as she quickly moved in to cut off the Campbell player’s path to the net and scooted a shot inside the left post.