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Lady Rebels roll to easy win
South Effingham loses another keeper to a second-half injury
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Tiffany Johnson (20) had an assist to help the Effingham County Lady Rebels beat their in-county rivals, the South Effingham Lady Mustangs, 5-0. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

It was end of frustration for the Effingham County Lady Rebels soccer team Wednesday afternoon. It was the continuation of the same theme for the South Effingham Lady Mustangs.

Effingham County won the first of the two games between the in-county rivals, blanking South Effingham 5-0 at Rebel Field.

The Lady Mustangs also lost another goal keeper to a collision. Backup keeper Allyson Smith was knocked out of the game when she was inadvertently kicked in the head midway through the second half. The Lady Mustangs lost starting keeper Brittany Way to a similar injury the week before.

“There is nothing you can do about it,” coach Kendrick Buckner said of Smith’s injury. “She was doing what she was supposed to do.”

Way put on her jersey and attempted to go in, but was stopped by Buckner and the referee, who said she needed a doctor’s clearance because she had a concussion. Buckner had to summon Melissa Wilkins to replace Smith in goal.

“I just feel we can’t catch a break,” Buckner said.

Wilkins had not practiced at the position much, Buckner said, the Lady Rebels tested her right away. Forty-two seconds after she donned the keeper’s jersey and gloves, Wilkins couldn’t stop Korie Van Curen’s blast from the middle of the box that gave Effingham a 4-0 lead. Tiffany Johnson’s pass led to Felicia Washington’s score with 18:03 to go.

The Lady Rebels (5-5) snapped a string of 2-1 losses. They had dropped four in a row, three by 2-1 counts.

“The girls had been frustrated a little lately, to be so close and to have the better possessions in two of those games,” Effingham coach Mike Baczynski said. “They played really well. They finished the chances they got.”

Korie Van Curen finished with two goals, while Sydnie Van Curen and Sarah Quarterman also scored for the Lady Rebels.

Sydnie Van Curen, Meaghan Hames and Kaitlin Dickey also added assists.

“They’re real physical,” Buckner said of the Lady Rebels. “They’re a good team. They have a few key players who have better ball skills than we do.

“We’re starting from the beginning.”