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Great finish part of a great start for the Lady Rebels
Hames' last-second goal lifts ECHS to 3-0
02.21 echs girls socer
Effingham County’s Meaghan Hames is swarmed by her teammates after Hames delivered a last-second goal to lift the Lady Rebels to a 2-1 victory over Brunswick on Tuesday night. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The Effingham County girls soccer team is off to a blazing start. And they had quite the dramatic finish to their Region 3-AAAA opener to thank for it.

Meaghan Hames booted home the game winner with less than 10 seconds left in the game, lifting the Lady Rebels to a 2-1 victory over Brunswick on Tuesday at Rebel Field.

“That was a great one,” Lady Rebels coach Mike Baczynski said. “That was a tough game for either team to lose. Both teams played so well.”

Effingham took a 1-0 lead in the first half as Kayla English set up Lauren Spradley for the goal. Brunswick tied it on Julie Ross’ tally.

But with less than 30 seconds to go, the Lady Rebels got control of the ball near the top of the 18-yard box against the Lady Pirates.  After a handful of players battled for possession, Hames got it and fired. Her shot rolled into the net, setting off a celebration among the Lady Rebels.

“That was a great kind of buildup,” Baczynski said. “It finally found Meaghan’s foot, and she drove it home. It was a hard fought-for goal.”

The victory also meant the Lady Rebels are off to a 3-0 start for the season — which is no surprise to the first-year coach.

“I definitely thought they were capable,” he said. “We have a lot of returning talent and a lot of new talent. They have come together well. They communicate better on the field, and it’s showing.

“They’re having a great start. They’re coming out and playing hard, and that’s what I like to see.”

Baczynski is pulling double duty this year, coaching the boys and the girls teams.

“It makes for a long night,” he said. “But I love coaching both teams. They’re great kids.”