DACULA -- The Galloway girls soccer team focused on one goal this week: being a part of school history.
The Scots (10-3) control their destiny in that pursuit after toppling repeat Region 5-A champion Hebron Christian, 2-1, on the road to punch their first-ever elite-eight ticket for the GHSA Class A girls state tournament. Galloway will meet First Presbyterian on Saturday.
Galloway senior goalkeeper Aubrey Stone, who made 10 of her 16 saves in the second half, said it was exactly the way she pictured. Stone, recent recipient of her school's highest honor: the Commitment to Excellence award, will attend Tulane University in the fall.
"It's a good way to go out," she said. "(Hebron)is a very good team, but we felt we had the skill, the strength and put in the hard work to give this everything we had."
Things weren't so clear at the outset for the Scots as Hebron (12-3-1) jumped out to a quick lead on the heels of smooth ball handling by Alexa Allen, who stripped Galloway of its opening possession. Allen worked the ball downfield, hitting the crossbar and rebound set up a scoring opportunity for McKenzie Towe, who capitalized after just 1 minute, 18 seconds of play.
Galloway struck back toward the end of the first half on a shot from Megan Culberson. The attempt looked too high but at the last second, arched perfectly into the back of the net to tie things up, 1-1, at 31:44.
"Megan usually distributes, so it was nice for her to have that moment," said Scots head coach Sarah Armstrong. "As the ball was in the air, we didn't even think it was good until that ripple of the net."
Forward Merrill Stovroff helped Galloway take the lead in the 34th minute on a penalty kick just outside the box. The score was all Galloway would need, despite 12 Hebron attempts during the second half.
The second half deadlock was a tough defensive match, and Lions forwards Towe and Allen worked against double- and triple-teams much of the half. It was just the second game in 2012 in which Allen did not score.
"The effort was better," said Hebron head coach Ian Driver. "I give credit to Galloway -- they acted like they wanted it more, kept pushing and won more 50-50 balls."