Mississippi Gulf Coast had no problem with Itawamba in the MACJC women's soccer quarterfinals in Perkinston. Erin Longsden, a freshman from Manchester, England exploded for four goals to lead the Lady Bulldogs (11-3-1).
Gulf Coast advances to the semifinals Saturday at the MGCCC Soccer Complex in Perkinston on Saturday.
Shannon Swilley of Pass Christian scored the Lady Bulldogs first goal with 21 seconds left in the half and that gave Gulf Coast the momentum they needed to gain confidence as the second half began.
Gulf Coast and Itawamba opened regular season play with a 2-2 tie on August 26 in Perkinston.
Longsden scored her first goal two minutes into the second half off an assist from Casey LaFontaine. Five minutes later she netted her second goal, taking a pass from Jess Shepherd, another native of Manchester, England.
With 28:06 left in the game, Longsden beat the Itawamba keeper to score her third goal and Shepard quickly followed with another Lady Bulldogs goal less than a minute later.
In the 78th minute, Longsden closed out her scoring and the Lady Bulldogs under head coach Jackie Rhodes advanced to face Holmes in the semifinals. Holmes beat Gulf Coast in their last head-to-head meeting 3-0.
"It's a big confidence boost, "Longsden said. "We lost 3-0 to Holmes last time, so we'll go in a little more confident this time."
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