The Dawson County boys' soccer team suffered their first defeat last Tuesday in a physical, hotly-contested home game with the East Hall Vikings before going on to a win on the road at Union County.
The Tigers lost at home on April 18 by a score of 4-1. A win, or even a tie, would have made Dawson out right region champions. Instead, the team finished region play in third behind Greater Atlanta Christian and East Hall.
On April 20, Dawson defeated Union County 3-2.
"As a team we played the worst game of the year," said Head Coach Jed Lacey about the loss. "We had players that did not step up to the plate and play against East Hall and add in some questionable calls and it turned into a nightmare."
The Vikings first goal came at 8:23 until half, almost immediately after a yellow card was called on Patrick Moody.
"It just proves that you have to have 11 players on the pitch playing as one, if not, well you see the results," Lacey said.
In the second period of play, things continued to get more physical.
The Vikings scored again at 27:37 and the crowd was irate after another knock down that received no call.
East Hall added their third goal with over 11 minutes to play before Dawson would get on the board.
Dennis Pyetsukh scored his 17th goal of the season on a Nathan Blythe assist after breaking away from the tenacious back field of the Vikings.
"I guess if you have to find the silver lining in playing a game like this," Lacey said. "It happened now and showed we can be beat and we need to quit reading our press clippings and just put on our hard hats and pick up our lunch pails and go back to work and do the things that have made us successful this year."
Goal keeper Dillon Tierney came up with four saves in the game.
Lacey was happier with the effort during the April 20 outing.
"We definitely had a great effort tonight but still made some mistakes," he said. "We got to clean up with the playoffs right around the corner."
Blythe scored on a Moody assist about halfway through the first period.
Union picked up their first goal also in the first half with about 13 minutes to play.
"Union County played their best game of the year and scrapped with us all night," Lacey said. "This was good for us because it made us work."
After the break, Pyetsukh scored on a Nick Murphy assist and Murphy added his own goal with 2:32 to play.
"I loved the last goal with time running out and we had three players crash the goal with two minutes left in the game and they just overwhelmed the Union defense and Nick Murphy slammed it into the back of the net," Lacey said. "That is how you finish the drill."
Dawson County is 11-1-4 overall and 5-1 in region play.
"I think this team is just ready for the real season to begin. We are a good team with a lot of talent on it," he said.
The Tigers play at 7 p.m. today at Pace Academy in first round of the state playoffs.