The Dawson County boys soccer team is flying high.
With a perfect 8-0 record, the Tigers have earned the No. 2 ranking in Georgia among Class AAA teams in this weeks AJC soccer rankings.
But the road will only get tougher for Dawson this week as the team travels to Roswell to take on No.3 ranked Blessed Trinity on March 28.
We will find out a lot about ourselves this week, said Dawson head coach Jed Lacey.
Instead of it being a make-or-break situation for the season, the Tigers will have the chance to find out what they are good at, and what they need to improve in order to compete for a State Championship, the coach said.
The Titans (Region 6A-AAA) have had their only loss to Class AAAAAA powerhouse Harrison High School.
Last week, Dawson welcomed Region 7-AAA rival White County to Tigers Stadium.
It took a while for the team to get back to form after playing three games in three days at the previous Tournament of Champions at Jekyll.
After the Warriors (3-7) held Dawson scoreless for half the first period, Josh Lund placed a nice pass to junior Sam Muenchen for a header, as the Tigers took a 1-0 lead.
Junior Drew Bishop then doubled Dawsons lead with a penalty kick goal with 17 minutes remaining until halftime.
White County then took a little of the momentum back with a goal before the half.
Lacey observed that although it was not a pretty game for the Tigers, they did what they had to in order to get the win.
Senior Jose Miranda gave Dawson some breathing room with a goal after 15 minutes in the second period.
Finally, sophomore Sal Mendoza took a through-pass from Drew Bishop and beat the keeper to score the final goal of the game with six minutes remaining as the Tigers won 4-1.
Mendoza was one of the bright spots for Dawson in the game, said Lacey. Sal plays with so much energy and has such a great skill set that he makes things happen every time the ball is on his foot.
Junior goalkeeper Brooks Fulford also helped solidify the Tigers on a night when they were not their best.
Brooks might be the best keeper in the state, said Lacey. He stops shots that anyone else would not even get to. We are blessed to have a keeper of his talent.
After Thursdays game, Dawson will continue competition after Spring Break, hosting Lakeview Academy on Wednesday, April 10 for Senior Night.
Lady Tigers are
If the Dawson County girls soccer squad thought Fridays game versus White County was tough, they have an even tougher challenge ahead tomorrow.
No. 1 ranked Blessed Trinity (9-0) will host the No. 4 ranked Lady Tigers (8-0) in a game that will give the girls a chance to make a name for themselves, said Dawson head coach Jed Lacey.
The Lady Titans, he said, will present a big challenge, but Dawson will be there to win.
Last week, Dawson gutted out a 1-0 win versus No. 7 ranked White County at home in a game that saw the Lady Tigers struggle to reach their full potential.
Sophomore defender Anna Hawkins and senior goalkeeper Kenna Seitz stepped up on defense, said Lacey, but it was not a pretty game overall.
Putting Dawson on the scoreboard was Emily Queen. The freshman took a rebound off the keeper and scored the goal at the midpoint in the first half.
Providing some much-needed leadership, senior Jade Perry encouraged many of the younger players to increase the speed of play during the game, Lacey said, so that the Lady Tigers can continue to experience success.
After tomorrows contest, Dawson is set to return to action on April 10 at home against Lakeview Academy for Senior Night.