PERKINSTON — Curissa Beatty's overtime goal was the only one of the match, but it was good enough for Mississippi Gulf Coast to clinch a playoff spot with a win over Meridian.
Beatty (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) scored 2 minutes, 49 seconds into the first extra session to win it.
"Meridian came out ready to win," she said. "They knew we weren't going to be at our best, but we won anyway."
The Lady Bulldogs (5-5-1, 4-1-1 South), who were missing some players with minor injuries, are guaranteed a spot among three division teams that will qualify for the state tournament. They have nearly clinched the No. 2 seed, and if they beat Jones on a 5 p.m. Tuesday in Perkinston, it keeps alive a chance to win the South.
"That is the good news of the day," Gulf Coast coach Jackie Rhodes said. "We officially have a playoff spot. At this point in the year, you're happy with a win no matter how you get it."
The Lady Bulldogs had double-digit shots on goal, but an array of sterling saves by Meridian keeper Cooper Pope kept the Lady Eagles (4-9, 1-4) in it.
Gulf Coast will play in the postseason for the third straight year.
"We're headed back to the playoffs," Rhodes said. "That's a nice feeling."
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