Fresh off its historic win on Friday night, the Temple High School girls' soccer team isn't ready to stop celebrating just yet.
The No. 3 Lady Tigers recorded the first postseason victory in the history of the program in the 7-0 triumph over No. 2 Douglass in Atlanta, advancing to the second round of the Class AA state playoffs where they'll travel to top-seeded Oglethorpe County today at 5:30 p.m. with a spot in the elite eight on the line.
"It was an amazing feeling to make history with some of my best friends and to show off all the hard work to our families, our friends and just representing our school in that kind of way," noted Lady Tiger senior defender Tiffani Jackson.
For Lady Tiger assistant coach Jeremy Ralston, the first-round victory served as a culmination of all the work the girls have put in dating back to the preseason on up to this point.
"The biggest thing was we played well as a team. I made a few changes with formations and made a few changes with personnel and they came out strong. We hit two quick goals right off the bat," Ralston said. "After that, they just started clicking and communicating, building on what we've been trying to work on all year with their talent and skill set."
Mercedes Trejo netted a hat trick in Friday's win, while Abigail Velez added two goals and Hailee Weaver and Alexis Dodd scored one apiece.
For Velez, a junior forward, it was one of the most memorable experiences of her soccer career.
"It was pretty awesome. We've really grown together as a team and I personally think that was the best game we've played all season," Velez said. "Knowing that we are the first team to win a playoff game in school history is a great achievement."
Getting the shutout win proved even more special to senior keeper Larissa Rembisz, noting how it was a true team effort with all phases clicking against the Lady Astros.
"The win on Friday night, it was a bittersweet feeling. I'm glad I could be here to experience it with this team," Rembisz said. "I feel like it's a new chapter for Temple girls' soccer because next year they can strive to do it and be even better."
But before there's any talk of next year, the Lady Tigers (11-8) want to keep building on their run and the next item on the to-do list is pulling the upset of the top-seeded Lady Patriots (7-3-1) in a long road trip to Lexington.
"They're pretty tough. I think we can match up with them real well," Ralston said. "They might have a little more skill set on us, but I think we have a little bit more speed. So I'm looking forward to seeing how we match up. I think we're equally matched."
Sophomore midfielder Destiny Lord pointed to the confidence of the team as a strong point right now, adding that it will take another effort like Friday's to move on to the elite eight.
"We just have to play our hearts out and trust our teammates," Lord said. "We've got to give everything we can and leave it all on the field."