The Bartow County Parks and Recreation 10-and-under girls soccer team won a thrilling championship game, 7-6 in double-overtime, to capture the state title in the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association tournament Saturday in Dalton.
Bartow won the back-and-forth championship tilt with a goal straight away from the kickoff of the second five-minute overtime period. The defense and goalkeeper Layla Allgood kept Columbia County off the board to close out the win.
Ella Edwards finished with a hat trick; Carly Edwards added a pair of goals, including the game-winner; and Kiley McMichael and Bailey DeBoard chipped in with one each.
After winning its district championship Nov. 17, Bartow opened the state tournament this past Friday with a 5-2 victory over Jackson County. Ella Edwards had four goals, and her twin sister, Emma, had the other in the win.
Allgood and the defense helped shut out Wayne County in the semifinals Saturday morning. Ella Edwards scored twice in the triumph. Carly Edwards (the eldest of the three Edwards sisters), Emma Edwards, McMichael and Zoe Bailey each had one goal apiece.
Bartow's 12U and 8U teams also reached the semifinals of their respective tournaments before being eliminated.
For a little more than half of the 10U team, it was a second state title in three years after capturing the 8U championship in 2016.
"The majority of the team has been together for a couple of years," assistant coach Sabrina Edwards said.
She added that the team had a motto this season. One that the players certainly took to heart in a nail-biting championship environment.
"We've got what it takes, but it's going to take everything we've got," she said, echoing the team's rallying cry. "That was what we told them over and over again. They dug deep and pulled it out there at the end."