Girls Varsity Soccer · George Jenkins Girls Shuts Out Gateway in 5A-9

LAKELAND — Merica Abnathy scored four goals and Olivia Ireland had two to lead George Jenkins to an 8-0 win over Kissimmee Gateway in the Class 5A, District 9 girls soccer quarterfinals Monday night at George Jenkins High School.

The Eagles advance to Wednesday’s district semifinals against Monday night’s winner between St. Cloud and Kissimmee Osceola. Wednesday’s game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Celebration High School.

Jenkins coach Kayla Grimsley, stressing that she was not upset with her team’s play, said she wants to see them play better Wednesday.

“We were lethargic to be honest with you,” Grimsley said of her team’s play Monday night. “I gave them a couple of accomplishments I wanted them to work on to prepare going into Wednesday’s game. I’m super concerned going into Wednesday’s game, so I wanted to make sure they accomplished the things we’ve been trying to work on the past couple of weeks.

“But, overall, I’m glad to get the win,” she said. “Any win is a good win, I’m not upset.”

In addition to the combined six goals by Abnathy and Ireland, the Eagles got goals from Abigail Harper and Hanna McDonnell.

Ireland also had two assists as did Cassidy Stephens. Abnathy and Harper each added one assist. Emerson Ellis and Madison Chancey split the game in goal to record the shutout with strong help from Jenkins’ defense which did not allow the Panthers many scoring chances.

The Eagles controlled the play throughout the match with 20 shots to Gateway’s three.

Ireland’s two goals came within the first 11 minutes of the match to stake the Eagles to a 2-0 lead. Abnathy and Harper scored within a minute of each other late in the first half to extend the lead to 4-0, which is how the first half ended.

McDonnell scored five minutes into the second half and Abnathy closed out the night scoring the last three goals, the last one with 8:15 left to end the match by mercy rule.