The Starkville Lady Yellowjackets refused to stay down.
After a disappointing loss to New Hope to end the regular season, the Lady Jackets have enjoyed two strong playoff performances, including Saturday's 2-0 home win over Center Hill in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Starkville girls soccer coach Anna Albritton said she received some words of wisdom from a devotional earlier in the day that was an inspiration.
"I read sometimes you have to get knocked down in order to build yourself back up," Albritton said. "That's what we worked on all week was getting back up stronger mentally because we definitely have the game to beat other teams, we just had to have the mental part of it."
The Lady Jackets, who improved their record to 8-5-3, were certainly sharp, especially defensively, in the shutout of Center Hill.
It is the deepest the SHS girls program has ever advanced in the playoffs and now plays Ridgeland on the road Tuesday.
Haley Jenkins scored in the first half to get the Lady Jackets off to a good start. She wanted to play a strong match and contribute to her team's success.
"As a senior, I really want to end on a good note and it really feels good to have this victory," Jenkins said. "We've been on a roll. We have really been picking up our game and really working together well. I'm really excited about Tuesday."
Cailee Helen McClain had a goal with 13:30 left in the match to put the icing on the cake for Starkville.
The Lady Jackets had other opportunities to score, but Albritton said it was a "satisfying" performance.
"We had the other opportunities from Carolina (Berryhill)," Albritton said. "We had others miss a couple. I've got two people on the sideline injured. We're missing them and I'm having to use some really young girls to fill some spots up."
Jenkins said the squad is doing a good job of fighting through the adversity and keeping its season going.
"(It's about picking) ourselves back up, get the team remotivated, do the stuff we need to do and work really well together," Jenkins said. "Sometimes you have to get knocked down to rebuild."View more articles in: