The 6-foot-1 junior scored her first on a break away less than eight minutes into the game when she scored with 32:52 remaining in the first half. Her second came off an assist from Ashton Wells with 11:07 remaining to put her team ahead two goals.
“I sprained my MCL against Indian Springs about two weeks ago. I’ve been rehabbing it,” she said. “It’s alright except my shots are way weaker and I’m a little off balance. I’m playing more left-footed than usual but it’s always good to strengthen your weak foot.”
Osterbind, even at less than optimum functionality with a hulking black knee brace on, was way too much for the Lady Redskins. Her performance came on the same day she, along with Donoho’s Marissa Davis, was chosen to play in the AHSAA’s annual North-South All-Star game, which pits the state’s top juniors against one another.
Jacksonville coach Sam Cain was concerned about his team’s opposition, one like they had hadn’t faced all season.
“We didn’t know what to expect from them,” Cain said. “We heard they had some big girls that played pretty strong.
But I think our young girls came together. I was proud of the effort today.”
The Lady Golden Eagles (14-2) will face Guntersville Saturday in the second round. The Lady Wildcats, state champions in 2008 and 2010, defeated Donoho at home 10-0 to advance.
Jacksonville took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Lady Golden Eagles came out of the break and struck quickly just as they did to open the match.
Eighth-grader Haleigh Rutledge scored 7:35 into the second half, adding the Jacksonville’s third unanswered goal with 33:25 left in the match. Rutledge came out of the game briefly after getting a little winded in the first half underneath the merciless afternoon sun.
“It was mainly the heat because we’re not used to this weather,” she said.
“I’m not used to playing in it. But they are a good team. They know how to control and pass the ball. It’s just moving back and forth and the heat all put together doesn’t mix well with me.”
Once she got acclimated to the conditions, Rutledge put all kinds of pressure on the Lady Redskins’ defense. She utilized her speed to win balls down the sideline throughout the match to aid her team’s attack to the tune of 20 shots on goal.
“My speed is like my best thing,” Rutledge said. “I’m good at crossing also if I get those in.”
Cain was able to pull Osterbind with about 20 minutes remaining and his team ahead 3-0
Wells’ goal came with 7:24 to play when Oneonta’s keeper deflected a high shot from Rutledge to keep it from going in the net. Wells secured possession and put one past her with a shot of her own.
Jacksonville keeper Matti Lowery had eight saves in the Lady Golden Eagles’ seventh shutout of the season.
“It feels good to get a win in the playoffs,” Cain said. “This is a young team. I think we’ve played 16 games and every game I’ve had a different lineup. So, to come out and finally get a rhythm going in this game, it was nice.”