In Spalding’s final regular season game against Pike County on Wednesday, the team was without starters Lydia Whitworth and Erika Strnad, and leading scorer Patricia-Anne Upson did not start the game but came in off the bench in the first half.
“(Trainer) Paul Hubbard and I will be working with those who are injured to get them back to game condition and pace over the next few days,” Gardner said.
Spalding will also be without Lauren Barlow after she received two yellow cards against Pike County, forcing her to sit out the next match.
The Lady Jaguars open the region tournament on April 25 at home against Region 2-AAA opponent Hardaway (10-4-0, 7-2-0). The Lady Golden Hawks finished the region schedule in a three-way tie for second place but was seeded No. 4.
Griffin High School’s girls soccer team opens the Class AAAA state playoffs on Wednesday as the No. 3 seed from Region 4-AAAA.
The Lady Bears (13-3-0, 6-0-0) will travel for their first round game against Region 2-AAAA opponent Whitewater. The Lady Wildcats (9-7-0, 6-1-0) enter the game ranked No. 5 in the state, but they have lost their last four games by a combined score of 9-2.
“We’re heading into this game with a 13-3 record,” Griffin coach Jerry Fields said. “It old the girls when we come off the bus next week to keep their heads held high.”
Griffin earned a bid to the state playoffs on Tuesday by defeating Westside Macon 3-1 in the opening round of the region tournament at Memorial Stadium.
Like the Lady Jaguars, Griffin will also be without one of its key players due to injury. Fields said Kristen Gregory, the second-leading scorer for the Lady Bears during the regular season, will likely miss the game due to a knee injury she sustained in Griffin’s final regular season game against Mundy’s Mill on April 1.
“We’re going to give it our best shot. We’re going to play with our heads up,” Fields said. “If we get beat then we get beat, but we made it to the state playoffs. Not very many teams can say that.”