The Dawson County boys’ soccer team was eliminated from the A/AA state playoffs by Athens Academy in Athens last Thursday by a 2-0 score. Both goals by Athens Academy came off of penalty kicks.
With the loss Dawson finished with an 11-5 record.
The Spartans (12-5-1) will advance to play Greater Atlanta Christian in the second round this weekend.
Athens Academy’s first goal came with just under three minutes gone in the first half off of a controversial call by the referee.
The second Spartan goal was scored with 9:48 remaining in the game on another penalty in the box called by the referee.
“We just couldn’t get any kind of offense going,” said Head Coach Jed Lacey.
“With Mauricio (Escobar) out because of his red card in the last game and Tyler Freeman gone with a torn ACL, we just couldn’t get going on offense.
“They (Athens Academy) are a good ball club. They all play year round in club ball and you can surely tell. Their passing game was unbelievable. We did a good job on defense, but their relentless attack finally wore us down.”
The Tiger head coach reflected on what the future holds for his Dawson team:
“Next season should be a big year for us. We have 10 starters returning off this year’s state team. We were very young this season, starting four freshmen in a state game. I don’t know of another team in the state that did that.”
Dawson will graduate two seniors this season, Alex Cote and Alfonso Visoso.
“We are going to miss both of these fine young men. Alex is going to be hard to replace. He is one of the top players ever to wear a Dawson County uniform. He was a natural,” Lacey said.
The Tigers tied last year’s record for number of wins in a season with 11.
“We will be back,” said Lacey.