The Lady Tigers entered spring break ranked No. 5 in the Class AAA rankings, according to Eurosport, after defeating now No. 6 Lumpkin County in a shootout. The win over the Lady Indians means that Dawson County just needs to win one of its remaining two region games over either Fannin County (10-4, 2-2 Region 7-AAA) on Friday or winless East Hall (0-12-2, 0-4 Region 7-AAA) on Tuesday to secure the No. 2 seed in the region and host a first round playoff matchup.
It is highly unlikely that the Lady Tigers will catch No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (6-3-2, 3-0 Region 7-AAA) in the standings, as the Lady Spartans would have to lose twice for Dawson County (8-2, 3-1 Region 7-AAA) to pass them since the Lady Tigers lost to GAC, 2-0, earlier in the season.
It’s been a breakout freshman campaign for Molly Muenchen who leads the team with 20 goals, just three goals shy of the school record set by McKay Shively, with three games remaining in the regular season.
The playoffs are a lock for the girls, but they will need Muenchen and teammates like junior Rachel Rajczak, who scored the only regulation goal against Lumpkin County, to continue their early season production if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Last year, the Lady Tigers went 14-3, but got shutout by Lovett in the first round of the playoffs, 2-0. Muenchen was obviously not part of that team and Lady Tigers’ fans are hoping the dynamic freshman can provide the spark Dawson County needs to avoid a repeat of last year.
Despite the gaudy numbers put up by Muenchen, it hasn’t been just offense for the Lady Tigers. The defensive unit along with the goalkeeper tandem of Ashley Stanfill and Fallan Lacey has produced six clean sheets on the season.
Coach Chess Hamby has alluded to the collective speed of the defensive unit as a big part of the Lady Tigers success. Very rarely does an opponent get a clean run at the keeper as defenders like junior Mackenzie Kimbral are always there to chase the ball down to prevent a quality scoring chance.
Kimbral may only stand at 5’3” but she is the unquestioned leader on defensive, always calling out signals to make sure everyone is ready and in position.
Allowing only nine goals in 10 games, the Dawson County defense has proven they are tough to crack, and with Kimbral in the back, Muenchen up front and Stanfill and Lacey in net, these Lady Tigers have a shot to make some noise come playoff time.