The Dawson County High School varsity girls' soccer team showed that it can be competitive against state contenders with a close loss to No. 6 ranked Buford, 2-1, last week in Buford.
"I think we showed we can play with the better teams in the state tonight," said head coach Jed Lacey.
Dawson opened the scoring on a penalty kick by Brooke Duffy to take a 1-0 lead with 23:50 left in the first half. It was Duffy's second goal of the season.
Buford answered with two goals in a span of five minutes to capture the lead at 2-1.
It was a defensive battle between the teams for the rest of the evening.
"We broke down for about five minutes in the first half on the defensive side with no midfield help and Buford took advantage of that and spread our defense out and scored two quick goals.
"To our players credit they did not get rattled and stayed in the fight and had two great scoring opportunities that could have helped us tie it up or win it," Lacey said.
"Last season we lost to Buford 7-0 so we have closed the gap quickly from last year," he added.
On Tuesday the Lady Tigers smashed Gilmer County in Ellijay by a 7-0 score.
Dawson erupted for five second half goals to crush the Lady Bobcats.
Scoring goals for Dawson County were: McKay Shively, 4 goals, Taylor Bennett, 2 goals and Duffy, one goal. Assists were by Carissa Perex, 2, Taylor Bennett, Riley Cox and Jade Perry.
Freshman Anela Melton had her first shutout of her career in goal.
"It was a great way to get the season started. The freshmen came up big to start their high school careers. We had a sluggish first half but we fixed some things at halftime and our team came out and played much better in the second half.
"Having McKay (Shivley) and Taylor (Bennett) start their careers off like this was awesome. We are so young, which is a concern, but we are talented. Usually the hardest thing for young players to get used to is the rough play, but they had no problem with it and dished out some of their own," Lacey said.
The Lady Tigers will play at 5 p.m. Friday at home against a strong North Hall squad.
The team will then play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at home against Lumpkin County.
Dawson in currently 1-1 on the season.