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Girls advance past Vidalia
Girls Soccer vs. Vidalia pic
Lady Tiger defender Anna Hawkins tries to wrestle the ball away from a Vidalia striker. - photo by Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News

A goal by Taylor Bennett with 17:52 to go in the second half was all the Dawson County girls soccer team needed to defeat visiting Vidalia, 1-0, last week.

Bennett dribbled the ball 40-yards to blast a shot by the Lady Indian goalie to advance Dawson County into the Elite Eight on May 9.

"The win was huge," said head coach Jed Lacey. "The girls stepped up. This is a tremendous thing in what these girls are doing."

The win by Dawson County advanced them to the next round of the state playoffs to face a very tough Greater Atlanta Christian School team.

Vidalia finished its season with an 11-5-1 record.

Dawson County put tons of pressure on the Vidalia defense in the first 30 minutes of the game.

Forward Riley Cox had two golden opportunities to score from short range. Cox got a shot on goal just outside the goalies box at the 37:09 mark, but her shot sailed high. Thirty seconds later, Cox got another chance, off of a Vidalia defensive turnover, that hit the pole. The shot rebounded to teammate Jade Perry who blasted the ball into the midsection of the Lady Indian goalie.

The Lady Indians turned up the pressure with 10 minutes to go before half.

Vidalia hit a shot that careened of the top right corner with 3:37 to go before half. It appeared that the shot crossed the goal line but it was waved off by the referee.

Dawson County escaped a very scary moment.

"We came back out and made some adjustments in the second half and did really well," Lacey said. "We got real lazy on their shot on goal. We dominated for 30 minutes to start the game. Then the last few minutes of the first half they (Vidalia) took over. We got lazy, tired and didn't hustle on defense. We just let them line shots up."

Both teams looked fatigued shortly into the second half.

The Dawson County defense clamped down. Behind defenders Anna Hawkins, Morgan Huber, Emily Stowers, Brooke Shively and goalie Kenna Seitz, the Lady Tigers didn't allow Vidalia another shot after securing the lead.

It was the 15th shutout for Dawson County this season. The team had allowed only 6 goals all season up to that point.

Lacey and his staff shuffled the team's lineup during the game.

Lacey moved Anela Melton from goalie and placed her at forward. The freshman made several good runs at the Vidalia defense.

"Anela did a great job for us," Lacey said. "I couldn't believe she was that good of a forward. Anela has great feet up front. She is too talented to sit the bench. We played a hunch and decided to put her at forward. We knew we had to play her in the field somewhere."

The team squared off against Greater Atlanta Christian School in the Elite Eight round of state play on Saturday.