The Escambia women’s soccer team is having their best season in the show’s history.
The yearly losing campaign was replaced this season by a team becoming the first team in the region to reach 10 wins. There are several reasons for the Gators’ upturn, but none are as dynamic as the senior who may be the best player in the region.
Gillian Thompson scored an area-best 29 goals in the first 12 games before completing a hat-trick on Friday night to lead Escambia to a 3-0 victory over Booker T. Washington at Emmitt Smith Field.
When the two teams met on November 15, she was removed from the board and the Wildcats won 1–0. But with Senior’s dizzying speed and her next-level skills, there was little her visitors could do to keep her down again in the rematch.
“I think we definitely came[on Friday]for revenge,” Thompson said. I’m really proud that I went there and didn’t quit.Even if I was five points higher, I wouldn’t have increased my work rate.Drop it.”
High School Boys Soccer: Tate Conquers West Florida, Extends Unbeaten Record
Ready wrestling: Gulf Breeze puts up a barrage of pins to defeat Pace in District 1-2A Duals
Basketball and Soccer Preparation: Pensacola Area Sports Results January 3-7
The striker scored in the 24th, 56th and 68th minutes. But what stood out most for Gators head coach Mike Davis was his girls’ efforts on defense as Washington went goalless for the first time in 12 games this season.
He acknowledged backline work that included freshmen Sabrina Corleone and Regan York, junior Rhys Allen and senior Amelia Hastings.
“I’m really happy with our defense. Even if they don’t score, we’re not going to lose,” Davis said. “I thought our defense did a really great job, with Sabrina, Reese, Amelia and Reagan. One, and now you’re chasing the game.”
Some of Washington’s best chances came from Escambia misplays.
Early in the first half, freshman midfielder Ruth Oakes lunged towards goal with a turn-around dribble, only for a shot to Gators sophomore goalkeeper Lila Abdel Ghani. Moments later, the Oaks had another chance to score following an Escambia turnover, but Abdelghani was again in stop position.
And in the 35th minute, another bad present from the home side created a 2–1 chance in the box. Sophomore forward Ella Younger nearly scored the equalizer, but Abdel Ghani made a spectacular save by kicking the ball away with both hands.
Outside a free-kick from just outside the box in the second half, the road team could not muster enough offense against a defense that put away a turnover.
“I don’t think we played that bad. It was a very physical game. We didn’t put a lot of pressure on their goalkeeper,” said Booker T. Washington head coach Kenny Morgan. rice field. “Most of our shots were at her. but we couldn’t find the back on the net tonight.”
The Gators improved their record to 10-2-1 this season, while the Wildcats went 8-3-1.
This story will be updated.
Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He can be reached at (850) 503-3828, Twitter @PatBernadeau, or email email@example.com.