The boys soccer team got a tough 2-0 win at Islands High School on Wednesday, May 6 to advance to the Elite Eight, where they fell to Decatur on Saturday, May 9 by a score of 2-1.
Senior Brandon Lund scored his 16th goal of the season and senior Randy Schultz scored his fifth (assisted by Lund) as the Tigers got an impressive shutout win against the number-one seeded Islands team last Wednesday.
Junior keeper Ty Anglin recorded his seventh shutout of the year in the win.
What a battle!, Coach Jed Lacey said after the game. Islands was all they were advertised to be, but we didnt come here to lose, he continued. They were the number-one seed in South Georgia and we gave them all we had and we got the job done. This was a team effort. We played 17 playersto get this win and it took all 17.
Things didnt go as planned against Decatur on Saturday, as Sal Mendoza returned from a two-game absence and scored the Tigers lone goal with just under 25 minutes remaining in the game, assisted by Lund. Decatur scored the game-winning goal with just eight minutes remaining in the first half, or things might have turned out differently for the Tigers.
The good news is the Tigers have gone to the playoffs in seven of the last eight years and this was their first trip to the Elite Eight. Lacey said later the heat in Saturdays day game hurt his road team in the loss.
The sun and heat killed us, Lacey said. Decatur had to play in it too, but they had the crowd, the turf and also benefitted by the fact we did not play our best game. We let the elements get to us and it cost us. This one really hurts, he said.
Lacey took a moment to recognize his seniors after the game. Led by Lund and Josh Sage, this senior class was the deepest we ever had, he said. Along with Schultz, David Velasquez, Dalton Edwards, Jose Zuniga, and Mendoza, this was the best that has ever come through here, hand down.
The Tigers finished the season with a record of 12-4-2 and look forward to more success in the future. This is a sad day, Lacey said. This one hurts because we wanted it so bad. This team was a group of warriors all year and we walked off with tears, but are heads will be held high.