It was the fifth straight victory by the surging Lady Flames, who improved to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the Gulf South Conference. The visitors dropped to 2-9 overall and 2-5 in league action.
Lee totally dominated the entire contest, outshooting the Wolves 26-3. The Lady Flames had 11 shots on goal and West Georgia only one. In fact, Lee had numerous opportunities in the opening half (14 shots) but could not find the back of the net. West Georgia’s only shot on goal came in the second 45 minutes and was saved by Lee keeper Haley Gribler.
“Today was just one of those days you weren’t sure if anything was going to go your way,” said coach Matt Yelton. “We created a lot of good chances in the first half, but just lacked that cutting edge to stick the ball in the back of the net. We were so close to being up 3-0 at the half.”
Fortune picked up the pace at the 56:02 mark in the second stanza. Her unassisted goal was struck into the right corner from the top of the box. “I thought Leah was immense today,” praised Yelton. “She did the work of three or four players, and really was the difference between us winning the game or tying. But that is what you expect of a player like Leah. She’s a senior captain who has loads of experience, and she set the standard for our entire team today.”
With the aid of a pair of veteran players, freshman Summer Lanter stepped up to score the second and third goals on the day. Her first goal was assisted by Fortune as she chipped a shot over the keeper after a nifty pass by Fortune. It came at the 82:07 mark. The second tally came just over five minutes later, after the freshman picked up a perfect pass from Laura Thacker and pushed around the West Georgia keeper, who was pulled out of the box.
“Today was one of those days when we were able to get a win and move on to Saturday,” noted Yelton. “We weren’t at our best and we had to move several players around (three starters due to injuries). We did enough to get the win and came out of the game with no new injuries, so we will take it and move on.”
The Lady Flames expect to face a much bigger challenge on Saturday at 2 p.m., when Valdosta State visits the Lee Soccer Field. The Blazers are 5-0-3 overall and 3-0-3 in conference play.
“Saturday’s game is a big test for us,” said Yelton. “We are going to play a very talented and disciplined team that defends extremely well and then goes forward with a lot of skill and athleticism. Valdosta has been in very impressive form this year, and they are a team that can and will punish you if you aren’t ready to play.”