Mississippi Gulf Coast put on a stifling defensive display Wednesday at Fulton, shutting out Itawamba 2-0 in the MACJC quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs will advance to play in the semifinals Saturday against archrival Pearl River. Kickoff will be at 4 p.m.
"I thought we played well," Gulf Coast coach Chris Handy said. "I thought we did good things. We approached the game with the right intensity, and I think we understood what it was going to take to win the game and did those things."
Griffin Bush (So., Pearl/Pearl) scored off a deflection in the 11th minute to put the Bulldogs (12-6) out front. Christian Inchima (Fr., St. Edmond Campion/Brampton Ontario) iced the game in the 87th minute.
Isaiah Gore (Fr., Laurel/Laurel) posted the team's ninth shutout of the season by making four saves.
"To get a shutout in a playoff game is big," Handy said. "I thought Isaiah had a great game for the work he had to do. The backline, the entire backline, I think all of them played the entire 90 minutes, except for the last 40 seconds. They handled their business. I was really proud of them."
The only downside to the victory came in the final minute when defender Chad McKnight (Fr., Terry/Byram) was given two yellow cards in an incident where a player stepped on his neck. He'll miss the Pearl River game.
The Wildcats (12-1) won the South, but playing them first is fine with Handy. The winner will have to turn around and play in the finals against the Hinds-Jones winner at 6 p.m. the next day.
"Playing a back-to-back with a limited number of players, if we have a chance to beat those guys it's going to be this way," he said. "We'll be fresh and hope it's our day."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College