Historic win for Lady Cavaliers

Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry


HOGANSVILLE – They’ve made history.

The Callaway Lady Cavaliers surged to a 2-0 first-half lead, and they went on to claim a 6-3 victory over Rockmart in the opening round of the Class AA state tournament on Tuesday.

It was a breakthrough win for the Lady Cavaliers, who secured the first state-playoff soccer win in school history.

“It’s really great,” said Brianne Vaught, a senior who has been a part of the program since her freshman season.

“It’ll be a memorable thing when I look back on it. It makes you feel really good.”

Vaught helped the Lady Cavaliers enjoy a winning day with a first-half goal, and junior Chloe McGuffin also had a goal.

Kelly Carlisle, the team’s leading scorer this season, continued to wear out the net with four goals.

Rockmart scored a pair of goals late in the game, but the outcome had been determined by that point.

It was an impressive performance by the Lady Cavaliers (12-6-2), who finished second in Region 5-AA to earn a home-playoff game.

Rockmart was the number three seed from Region 7-AA.

“They felt confident, and we had a really good week of practice,” Callaway coach Shonna Yawn said. “The only thing you could ask from today was to leave it all on the field, to come out and do what we worked on all week long, and all year long. And it all came together. They left it all on the field. They played with heart. The teamwork was there.”

Carlisle and Vaught scored first-half goals within a few minutes of each other to give Callaway a 2-0 lead, and that was the score at the break.

Callaway continued to pour it on in the second half, with Carlisle scoring three more goals, and McGuffin adding one.

Acia Stephens, one of the team’s seniors, had an assist.

Callaway and Rockmart were familiar with each other, since they were in the same region the previous two seasons.

“We’ve been back-and-forth with this team since my freshman year, from losing on penalty kicks, to beating them,” Vaught said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Yawn said getting out front was beneficial for the players.

“We got up early, and that helped,” she said. “It always helps if you’re the first one to score. So overall, they wanted this, and you could tell tonight. They never gave up fighting, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Callaway’s second-round opponent will be East Laurens, which beat Brooks County 7-0 on Tuesday.

That game will be played on May 2 in Dublin.

“We did something Callaway has never done,” Yawn said. “Now we’ll come back to practice tomorrow. We want to get to that next leve