Freshman Buffi Tillman led off the scoring for Spalding five minutes into the match with a left-footed shot past the keeper after Mary Persons attempted to clear a corner kick. Kristen Argila scored less than three minutes later off an assist from Haylee McMahan.
In the second half, a Mary Persons back scored an own goal as she misplayed a strong cross from Lady Jags freshman Taylor Thompson at the 17:40 mark. Cydney Swain added Spalding’s fourth score of the night on a 20-yard blast off a corner kick from Ann Marie Martinez with 16 minutes remaining.
LiAnne Harris scored unassisted three minutes later to raise the margin to 5-0. Mary Persons scored its lone goal with 6:14 remaining on a penalty kick from the mark by Lady Bulldog Ashlyn Dell as Class AAAA Spalding (4-0) remained undefeated and the host Class AAAA Mary Persons Lady Bulldogs (0-4-1) remained winless.
Coach Wayne Gardner was pleased with his team.
“We possessed the ball, communicated extremely well, and played as a team,” he said. “Sure, we made some mistakes and lost our focus at times but we played well especially in the second half.”
Spalding took 16 shots with 12 of those on the goal, while Mary Persons mustered only four shots, including only three of those on the goal.
“That difference in the number of shots taken tells a lot about how we defended and kept possession,” said Gardner. “Our backs Laural Cobb, Cydney Swain, Katherine Blackmon, and Buffi Tillman kept Mary Persons chasing the ball with their passing.”
Keeper Alexus Holton turned away all three shots she faced in her first match in goal.
The Lady Jags play their second match of the tournament 10 a.m., Saturday against Northside-Warner Robins (3-2-1). Northside, which topping winless Mary Persons 1-0 on Wednesday, has won two in a row and three of its last four while not losing its last four.
Spalding will play its third and final match that afternoon at a time and against an opponent to be determined.