GPS Wins Opening Round Soccer Playoff Match

3-0 win against Pope John Paul

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

“Two years ago we lost to this same team on this field (pointing to the GPS field) on a Saturday afternoon and I did not want to go through that again.”

GPS soccer coach Leland Strang


GPS soccer coach Leland Strang knows her prep soccer history and prepared her team so history would not repeat itself.

Saturday afternoon on the Bruiser turf, GPS defeated Pope John Paul II, 3-0, in an opening round match in the TSSAA D-II AA girls’ soccer state tournament.

“Two years ago we lost to this same team on this field (pointing to the GPS field) on a Saturday afternoon and I did not want to go through that again,” said Strang who is now 34-12-5 in three seasons as head coach.

“I thought about reminding our players that we lost to this team and was knocked out of the playoffs, but some players like to know the history of a rivalry and others do not, so I kept the information to myself.”

Senior Izzy Phillips scored twice and Taylor Walden once as the victorious Bruisers improve to 11-3-1 and travel to Harpeth Hall next weekend for a state quarterfinal match.

“We didn’t start as cleanly and as fast today as we did in our win against Baylor Tuesday, as this win was more of a get the job done type victory,” Strang stated.

First Goal: Walden’s goal off a free kick from Josie Love Roebuck put GPS on the board in the 23rd minute as GPS led 1-0.

Philips scored both her goals in the second half, one on an assist from Akia Harris in the 57th minute and the second on a pass from Walden in the 78th minute.

“Pope John Paul clogged the middle from the start and we didn’t do a good job early, on spreading out their defense,” Strang said. “But we were able to make that adjustment and posted the shutout win.”

Good Play in the Nets: GPS goalkeeper Savannah Williams posted her second straight shutout and has allowed only three goals in the last eight matches.

History is Not Repeated: Today, GPS is a No.4 seed playing at home against No. 7 Pope John Paul on a Saturday in mid-Oct. ad won 3-0 ...  Two years ago, GPS was also a No.4 seed and lost at home to No.6 Pope John Paul, 5-2

Shots: GPS, 12-2

GPS 3, Pope John Paul 0

 JP2  0 – 0 – 0

 GPS 1- 2 – 3

GPS -Taylor Walden (Josie Love Roebuck), 1-0 … 23rd minute

GPS – Izzy Phillips (Akia Harris), 2-0 … 57th minute

GPS – Izzy Phllips (Walden), 3-0 … 77th minute

Records: GPS (11-3-1)  JP2  (3-12-3)

contact B.B. Branton at


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