“It was a physical game, but we stepped up and played,” said longtime Spalding High coach Wayne Gardner.
Spalding (5-1), which opened the tournament with a 5-1 win against Mary Persons on Thursday before losing 1-0 against Northside-Warner Robins on Saturday morning, got off to a rocky start against Howard (3-4).
The Howard Huskies posted the match’s first score six minutes in. Spalding, however, evened the match on a goal by McIver, assisted by Marissa Hendrix, 22:56 in before taking the lead for good when Martinez laced one in on a 25-yard direct free kick 27:53 in.
McIver then added an insurance goal, assisted by Martinez, with 13 minutes left in a match where both teams took about the same number of shots and Spalding keeper Alexus Holton made nine saves.
Gardner said, “She played extremely well.”
Spalding (5-1 overall, 1-0 region) continues its season 7:30 p.m., today when it jumps backs into Region 4-AAAA play hosting Dutchtown (0-2, 0-1) at Memorial Stadium in Griffin before hitting the road Friday to take on Woodland-Stockbridge (4-2, 1-1).