LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Having home-field advantage in the postseason is a luxury - one the Long Beach boys & girls soccer teams didn’t take for granted - as both squads won their South State Championship games to advance to the 6A State Final on Saturday.
The Lady Bearcats kicked off the doubleheader facing off against West Jones. For the third year in a row, the girls got to perform in front of their fans at Lumpkin-Magee Stadium. Despite not being able to see them for most of the game because of the foggy conditions, Long Beach did not disappoint as they were able to shutout the Mustangs 3-0 to head back to the 5A State Championship game.
The boys game followed in what would end up being a thriller against West Harrison. Early on, the Hurricanes had momentum as they took a 2-0 lead 15 minutes into the game, but Long Beach cut the deficit to one right before halftime. Senior Kai Vancourt led the comeback charge as he rips off three straight goals - including the first half goal - to tie the game up at 3-3, sending the game into extra minutes. In overtime, Vancourt comes up big again with the go-ahead goal and Junior Stanley Trazska adds another for insurance as Long Beach defeats West Harrison 5-3 to punch their ticket to Jackson with the ladies.
Two other coast teams were also in action Wednesday, St. Patrick and St. Stanislaus, but unfortunately, both squads fell in their South State Championship games. The Fighting Irish are shutout by Sacred Heart 1-0 and the Rock-A-Chaws season ends in heartbreaking fashion, losing to Richland 2-1 in penalty kicks.