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Dawson girls soccer team rolls into state tournament
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Despite quite a few injuries suffered by the Dawson County Lady Tigers soccer team, Coach Jed Lacey's team rolls into the state Class AAA playoffs.

The Lady Tigers have lost senior goalie Anela Melton, striker Taylor Bennett and Summer Armstrong at outside back.

Armstrong could play, but her time will be limited, according to Coach Lacey.

The Lady Tigers defeated East Hall by a score of 10-0 on April 21 to end the regular season.

Lacey's team has won nine out of their last 10 games, outscoring their opponents 57-5 during that span.

The team's only loss came at the hands of Region 7-AAA champion Lumpkin County, 2-1.

In Dawson County's last three games the team has scored 24 goals, while giving up only one.

"This was a great way to go into the state playoffs with two back to back 10-0 wins," Lacey said. "We have a lot of different people scoring and assisting. This team is playing so unselfishly. They all want to make a pass to each other.

"We still have to work on some things, but it is nice watching these girls wanting to play for each other."

In the game with East Hall, the Lady Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead at halftime behind two opening goals by Mackenzie Callas, and goals by Brooke Cagle and Jessica Chambers.

Callas has 15 goals on the season.

"Mackenzie has scored five goals in two games, she is lighting it up. She is using her speed to blow past defenders and making really nice diagonal runs to receive through passes from the center mid[fielder]. She is growing leaps and bounds every game," Lacey said.

Picking up assists on the first half goals were Emily Queen, Tina Libao (two) and McKay Shively.

The offense didn't stop to begin the second half.

In a 6 minute 58 second span the Lady Tigers added three more goals to put the game out of reach, 7-0.

Shively led the onslaught with a goal at 37:08 on an assist by Lydia Blythe.

Cagle added her second goal of the match less than two minutes later on an assist by Chambers.

The third goal of the half came off the foot of Shively at the 33:02 mark on an assist by Callas.

Finishing out the scoring was Blythe (22:16), it was Blythe's first goal of the season, and Libao with two goals at 12:29 and 8:47.

Keeper Ashley Stanfill, a freshman, recorded her third shutout of the season.

"Tina Libao was on a tear tonight, controlling the middle along with Lydia Blythe, McKay Shively and Jessica Chambers. The midfielders are doing a great job transferring the ball from the back to the front finding the open person," Lacey said.

Dawson County will now host the first round state playoff game against Morgan County (9-4-0; 4-2) tomorrow. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Lady Dogs are the No. 3-seed from Region 8-AAA.

Morgan County finished behind region champion Oconee County and second place Jefferson.

Morgan County is coached by Anne Stamps. The team's key players are forwards Susanna Peppers, Anslyn Stamps and keeper Erin Miller.

"I feel good how our team is playing. We have had a lot of injuries this year and we went from having five seniors starting down to two, but we have had some younger players step up. They are doing a good job getting it done."

The Lady Tigers are 12-3 overall and ranked No. 4 in Class AAA.

If Dawson County advances they will play the winner of Islands, No. 4-seed from Region 1, and Peach County, No. 1-seed from Region 2.

Peach County is located in Fort Valley and currently boasts an 11-3-0 record.

Islands High School is in Savannah and enters the state playoffs with an 8-6-0 record.

If Peach County wins the Lady Tigers will have to travel. The date and time of that game have not been announced.

 

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