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North Gwinnett "Resilience" Pushes Them Past McEachern Into Second Round Of Playoffs

North Gwinnett defeats McEachern to advance to the second round of the GHSA 7A playoffs

On Wednesday, the McEachern Indians hosted the North Gwinnett Bulldogs in girls lacrosse action in the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class 7A state championship tournament. The two teams entered Wednesday’s matchup with nearly identical regular season records as North Gwinnett closed out with an 8-7 record, while the Indians finished at 9-7, therefore setting up an evenly matched up game.

With the first half underway, McEachern would take an early 2-0 lead in front of their home crowd, however, the Bulldogs would quiet the home fans as they stole momentum with five consecutive goals to take a 5-2 lead. And while North Gwinnett would never relinquish their lead, the Indians gave them a battle down to the final minutes of the game as the Bulldogs would eventually pick up the 14-8 win. “The girls’ resilience,” North Gwinnett head coach Joe Pepitone said of what he was most impressed with in the Bulldogs’ win.

“They went down two, nothing right away and it didn’t faze them at all. They came right back,” Pepitone said of the North Gwinnett 5-0 run to give them the lead, which they would maintain for the remainder of the game. Pepitone also credited McEachern for how well they played on Wednesday, hitting the Bulldogs with every punch they had. “You can’t take anything away from these girls that we played against. They are fighters,” Pepitone said.

And while North Gwinnett will move on to the second round of the 7A bracket, Pepitone knows his girls will have another bout on their hands when they take on Milton, who defeated during the regular season. “My girls came for a fight and they put it all on the line. I’m challenging them to do it all again on Friday and they told me they will,” Pepitone said. The first year North Gwinnett coach noted that in order for the Bulldogs to find success against the 15 time state champs, “clean lacrosse” will be key in order to get the victory.

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