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Dawson County boys soccer falls in the quarterfinals
S-Varsity Boys Soccer pic1
Sophomore midfielder Sam Hoppal moves the ball up field during the Tigers May 3 win over Rutland to advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last week. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

After a strong showing against Rutland to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class AAA state playoffs, the Dawson County Tigers fell to Oconee High School Friday and finished their run for a state championship.

"We got to the Elite Eight again and we just could not get through," said Coach Jed Lacey.

Dawson County lost at Oconee 1-0 on May 6.

The Tigers had to play without senior leader Alan Sanchez after losing him to a red card during the first round win over North Murray.

"Losing Alan to a red card two games ago that he never deserved cost us tonight. We could not control the middle as well as we like," Lacey said about not having Sanchez.

The only score of the game came on an Oconee corner kick in the second half.

"Man what an unlucky goal, it deflected off our player trying to head it out, but it went back at our goal and Ty blocked it but they kicked in the deflection. It was just unlucky," Lacey said.

It was a tough loss after such a solid season and coming off their May 3 win over the Rutland Hurricanes.

That game began as primarily a defensive battle with Dennis Pyetsukh and Nathan Blythe taking back-to-back solid shots on goal but unable to get anything in the net early on.

With 7:54 until half, Patrick Moody got a pass to Blythe who put the Tigers on the board.

That would be the only goal of the first period.

The Tigers came out of half fired up offensively. Less than two minutes in, Pyetsukh scored.

The Hurricanes almost immediately answered with their own goal to make it 2-1.

"Dennis Pyetsukh broke the scoring record against Rutland with three goals in that game. He ended his season with 24 goals and broke Brandon Lund's record of 22 goals in a season," Lacey said.

At the other end Blythe had a nice cross to Cole Dennis but the shot went long.

Rutland took a shot on goal, but senior goalkeeper Ty Anglin made a diving save to prevent the Hurricanes from tying it up almost midway through the second half.

With 26:58 to go Pyetsukh put another one in only to get knocked flat with no call from the ref. He had to leave the field for help from the trainer, but returned a couple minutes later to complete the hat trick and put the Tigers up 4-1.

Rutland's only other goal came out of a scuffle in the box where Anglin appeared to get pushed around.

After that it looked as though the wind had gone out of the Hurricanes' attack.

Dennis scored for the Tigers on a beautiful pass from Pyetsukh and the Tigers would add again to their lead on a Moody cross to Sam Hoppal who put it in on a header.

The Tigers finished at 14-4-1 overall and second place in the region at 5-1.