The Dawson County Lady Tiger soccer team defeated Fannin County, 1-0, in double overtime last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium.
With the win, Dawson clinched the #1-seed and qualified for the state playoffs. It is the first area championship in Dawson County history.
The game-winning goal came with 3:54 remaining in the second overtime period by Katie Pritchard.
Pritchard hit a 20-yard shot that struck the inside post. The ball rolled across the goal mouth before resting on the other post.
The Pritchard goal was assisted by Emily Stowers, who served a ball just past the Fannin defense.
“The game was a tense and physical contest, with both teams failing to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities,” said Head Coach Rick Corwin.
Lady Tiger goalie Lindsey Vinson made 20 saves to get a shutout over a tough Fannin team. The visiting Lady Rebels kept up the offensive pressure, but Vinson and her defense rose to the occasion for Dawson County. It was Vinson’s sixth shut out of the season.
The midfield play of Brooke Shively, Kati Hawkins, Chelsea Terrell and Brittany Duffy began to take over after the barrage by Fannin County. The tide of the game began to change midway through the second half.
“Chelsea (Terrell) has really been playing well lately,” said Corwin. “I challenged her to take charge a few games ago, and she has really responded well. I also think (Brittany) Duffy’s surging runs and crosses helped open up their defense,” he added.
Depth by the Lady Tigers seemed to wear down Fannin.
“We have been dressing out 21 players for varsity games, and we are able to get valuable playing time for all of them, which has created a deeper roster,” said Corwin.
The end of regulation saw Dawson waste many chances at scoring the game-winning goal.
In the first overtime, which lasted five minutes, there wasn’t much activity by either team.
The Dawson seniors had a choice of another overtime or penalty kicks, the team choose to play for the win.
“The seniors told me that they felt like they had Fannin on the ropes, and they wanted to go for it. I called them in and said let’s end this now,” said Corwin.
A minute later the ball penetrated the Fannin defense, leading to a Pritchard score.
On Monday, the Lady Tigers made the long trip to Union County to face a young, but talented, Lady Panther club. Corwin’s team came away with a hard fought 1-0 win.
Jade Perry scored Dawson’s only goal on assists from Brittany Duffy and Vanessa Stowers.
Union threatened early on, with Lindsey Vinson making two huge saves, and Ashley Avery snuffing out a potential breakaway scoring chance.
“We changed our formation, and scored about 30 minutes in, then packed the midfield and defended well for the rest of the game” said Corwin.
Thursday, the Lady Tigers traveled to Riverwood High School for a non-region match-up. Dawson looked lethargic after their big win over Fannin on Tuesday.
Riverwood scored 50 seconds into the contest. The Lady Pirates added another goal on a penalty kick to pull off the 2-0 win over Dawson County.
The Lady Tigers were outshot 21 to 1 in the contest.
“We played defense the entire game,” said Corwin. The good news is that the girls saw firsthand how fast playoff-caliber soccer teams should play.”
Dawson is currently 7-4-1 on the season.The team is off until after spring break when they will play at home on Wednesday, April 14 against Chestatee High School. The team will then travel to Gainesville to face Lakeview Academy on April 16.