Despite a great effort the Tigers fell 2-1 to North Murray last Thursday in the first round of the AA state playoffs.
Both teams had several scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize on them.
North Murray came into the game with a 13-2 record and the No. 1-seed out of Region 7-AA.
The Mountaineers scored quickly. On the team's initial possession North Murray fired a shot at goal that hit the right post. A North Murray forward blasted the rebound into the back of the net.
North Murray held a 1-0 lead with just 28 seconds gone in the contest.
The Tigers had their first opportunity to score with 20:04 to play.
Dawson County was fouled just outside the penalty box. On the ensuing penalty kick the Tigers just couldn’t get a shot on goal and North Murray easily cleared the ball.
Four minutes later the Tigers had another chance to score when Brandon Lund hit a bullet that sailed just outside the goal mouth.
Dawson County tied the game with 4:23 left before halftime.
Brandon Lund took a great pass from teammate Sal Mendoza and blasted a shot at the North Murray goalie. The ball bounced off the goalies hands onto the foot of Lund who deposited the ball into the back of the net.
The goal was Lund's ninth of the season.
With 12 second remaining, Dawson County had another scoring chance. The ball was crossed onto the 6-yard mark with several Tigers around. The Tigers just couldn’t put a foot on the ball.
All the momentum was with Dawson County going into halftime.
Once again the Tigers had a great chance to score to start the second half. Dawson County couldn’t get control of the ball in front of the North Murray goalie.
With 29:58 to play Dawson County was called for a penalty inside the box. The Mountaineers took advantage and scored on the ensuing penalty kick.
The weather then started to turn bad. Lightning was detected by the referees with 24:23 to play. Officials cleared the field as a thunder storm approached the stadium in Chatsworth.
After nearly an hour delay play was resumed. Neither team could score and the final was 2-1 North Murray.
“We did not play the way a team that wants to go to the second round of state is suppose to play. We could have and should have but the execution of play we showed out there against North Murray sealed our fate,” said head coach Jed Lacey.
Dawson finished the season with a 10-8 record.
North Murray advanced to the second round and will play Toombs High School (3-13-1).
“I am so proud of these players. We went from being favorites in the region to not knowing or even thinking we could make state after the injuries and losing two other starters for the year,” Lacey said.
“We had other injuries during the year that never let us start the same line up twice. These kids learned a lot this year on what it takes to make a run at state. We had players that were not ready for varsity yet, freshmen and sophomores, playing key roles and getting major minutes. This will help us down the road and put a great team on the field next year.”
The team played most of the year without key players Cody Hall and Jose Miranda, due to injuries.
The Tigers have won at least 10 games each season for the last five years.
“The 10 win total is a goal we have and we always want to obtain it. For this year's team to obtain 10 wins was tremendous. We will be back next year making a run at state with most of the players and probably some new ones and we will keep our winning tradition in tact as we have up in classification to AAA,” Lacey said.
Dawson County will graduate four seniors this year. Playing their last game for the Tigers were: Stanton Rogers, Cody Hall, Sam Wentworth and James Carr.