Lady Bearcats staying focused after first Region Championship in eight years

Lady Bearcats staying focused after first Region Championship in eight years

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - For the Long Beach girls soccer team, the message on Friday was clear.

"Ladies, this is your chance to win a championship," head coach Neil Scott told his team before the game.

A win over Gautier would clinch the program's first Region 8-5A Championship since 2010. The contest remained in a scoreless tie well into the second half.

"When (Maddie Beets) hit the back of the net, we were all just like 'whew,'" sophomore center midfielder Sydney Spataro said.

Thanks to her goal in the 69th minute, a 1-0 victory clinched their first district title in eight years.

So, what was in store for Monday's practice? Celebration? No. Cardio.

"The best thing I could hear is when I walked into the locker room at the beginning of this practice, and not one person said anything about winning the region championship," Scott said.

"We need to celebrate those accomplishments when they happen," Beets said. "But when it comes time to practice and all that, we can't focus on winning (the district title). We have to focus on the future."

It's the new normal for Long Beach in Scott's second year at the helm. At 15-0-1, they've nearly doubled their win total from a year ago.

"It's going somewhat as planned," Scott said. "The girls have gotten better, the records have gotten better, the soccer has gotten better, and the wins have started to come a little bit here."

Even with the Region Championship, there are still several goals the Lady Bearcats would like to check off in 2018.

An unbeaten regular season and a state championship, to name a few.

"It would be pretty amazing if we got that far with having an unbeaten season," Spataro said. "I think it's important to remember that just because we've gone this far without losing, (it) doesn't mean that we're unbeatable."

The Lady Bearcats will get the chance to clinch an unbeaten season with two games remaining. They finish district play Friday at Stone, and wrap up the regular season next Thursday at St. Martin before the playoffs begin February 5th.

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