In what appeared to be the toughest week of the year of 2019, the Lady Tiger’s faced the two top-ranked teams in region 7-AAA as the GACS Spartans came to town on March 26 followed by a trip up the road to face the Lumpkin County Indians on March 28.
Dawson County has faced tough competition all season but sophomore Molly Muenchen has found the net seemingly at will all season to lead an evenly distributed offense. The defense has been led by sophomore Amber Hoard and senior Fallan Lacey in the net as they had combined for five shut-outs and two ties to lead the team on an 11 of 13 game winning streak.
When faced with all of the statistics Head Coach Chess Hamby knew the challenges that were ahead of him as he prepared his team for what would be the toughest test this year.
“GAC has shown that they will be the toughest competition again this year in the region,” Hamby said. “They are a solid team year after year and we know that it is getting to be a great battle.”
The battle opened with both teams showing flashes of speed as they tried to exploit the very rare and very narrow scoring opportunities presented in the first half. On one of their first chances to score, Muenchen managed to put her head on the ball as it sailed in from the corner on a perfect line from senior Rachel Rajczak and Dawson County took a quick 1-0 lead.
With Lacey in net the score held until late in the game when the Spartans slipped in an equalizer and the clock wound down on a 1-1 score at the end of regulation.
As a regional game there could not be a tie, and the game was settled on penalty kicks.
Lacey continued to predict GAC’s shots and knocked away all but one, while the Lady Tigers’ kickers did their work by scoring on four of their shots and Dawson County went on to record the win over the Spartans and leap to the top of region 7-AAA.
With the Spartans under their belts, the Lady Tigers traveled to Lumpkin County to face their regional rival Indians in a battle for first-place.
In a game that lived up to the hype for Lady Tigers’ fans Lacey turned in another shut-out performance and Muenchen led a flurry of scoring from the Lady Tigers’ high-powered offense as the girls extended their overall record to 11-1-2 and remained undefeated in the region with a record of 4-0.
Dawson County High School entered spring break and the Lady Tigers will not see action again until April 12 when they are on the road against Fannin County for another critical regional match. Hamby expressed some concern about the length of time but believed his team would be prepared for the final two games of the year.
“We have to survive spring break and make sure that we don't lose our conditioning,” Hamby said. “The rest isn't a bad thing for them to recover, but there is happy medium. Hopefully, we can come out after spring break and be ready for a playoff run.”