The Dawson County varsity boys’ soccer team is headed to state.
The Tigers defeated Jackson County, 2-0, last Tuesday to qualify for the first round of the state tournament. Seeding for the tournament began Monday when the team traveled to Union County (13-1-1). The Panthers are currently ranked #8 in AA.
Union defeated Dawson in late March by a 4-1 score.
The game was originally scheduled for last Friday, but due to inclement weather the game was changed to Monday.
Scores were unavailable at press time.
It will be a tough road for the Tigers this week.
Depending on the outcome with Union, the Tigers will play again Wednesday for the region championship or for a #3-seed. Both games will be on the road.
Their opponents will either be #3-ranked North Oconee or East Hall.
East Hall defeated the Tigers late in the season.
“This is what it is all about, playing the best to see where we stack up against the best. We are up for it. I would not trade my team for anybody else’s,” said Head Coach Jed Lacey.
The game with Jackson County was tied at halftime 0-0 despite the Tigers many shots on goal. Dawson hit every part of the goal, but just couldn’t put a shot in the back of the net.
Dawson finally got on the board at the 24:35 mark of the second half off the foot of Josh Lund.
Lund added a second goal 13-minutes later that put the game out of reach for the Panthers.
Lund took a beautiful pass from teammate Jose Miranda and slammed the ball past the Jackson goalie.
With his second goal of the game Lund tied the school record with 17 goals for the season.
“Josh has worked so hard since last year trying to improve himself and become the player he is now. Josh has scored 17 goals, but he is such an unselfish player at the same time. He will look to pass just as he looks to score,” Lacey added.
The attacking line of Lund, Miranda and Sam Edwards kept pressure on the Jackson defense all night. The Tigers took 28 shots to Jackson County’s nine shots.
Tiger freshman goalie, Brooks Fulford, recorded his sixth shutout of the season. With the shutout, Fulford tied the school record.
According to Lacey, the accomplishment is remarkable considering Fulford has only started nine games for the team.
“Brooke could be one of the best goalkeepers this state has ever seen when his career is over,” Lacey said.
“Overall, the boys had a great game. We passed, hustled, played strong defense, had mega shots on goal.
“Man this is an exciting time of year. This is why we play the season, so we can get to these games. The best versus the best,” Lacey said.
The Tigers were ranked #10 in the state in AA and sported a 9-5 overall record going into Monday night’s game.