By Doug Gorman
Tara Stadium has been the sight of several historic events over the years.
Wednesday night the Jonesboro Lady Cardinals added their own chapter to the facility's long history, beating Jenkins High School of Savannah 3-1 in the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state playoffs.
It was Jonesboro's first-ever girls state playoffs victory.
The Lady Cardinals will play No. 1-seed McIntosh in the second round of the state tournament. McIntosh beat Lee County 15-0.
"I am so proud of these girls, and happy for the seniors," said head coach Matt Trucks. "This was our goal at the start of the season."
Jonesboro attacked the Jenkins' goal early and often and kept the pressure on their guest most of the night, but needed a late second-half goal by Petra Stumpf with 1:41 remaining in the game before it could rest comfortably. Her final tally gave the Lady Cardinals the final two-goal margin.
Laura Ashley Harris frustrated the Jenkins squad throughout the game with several though saves from her keeper position.
After several early scoring attempts, Jonesboro finally lit up its side of the scoreboard with 21:48 remaining in the first half when Amanda Traber scored the first goal of the game.
Traber managed to get the Jenkins keeper out of position before finding the back of the net for a 1-0 Jonesboro lead.
"This is so awesome, said Traber. "I am happy for all the seniors."
Jenkins didn't take long to score its only goal of the night, answering back to tie the game at 1-all with 19:09 remaining in the first half.
It was the only time the Lady Warriors put the ball past Harris.
The Lady Warriors had two opportunities to score early in the second half, but Harris made two saves on hard shots on goal.
Jonesboro took the lead for good when Lauren Burch scored the Lady Cardinals' second goal of the game.
It was almost a carbon copy of Traber's goal as the Jenkins goalie was drawn out of position.
Stumpf's score iced the game about 20 minutes later.
"We have been working hard for this day for a long time," Stump said. "It feels good to get the win in a state game."